WHY ARE THERE SO FEW LATINO LIBERTARIANS?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

photo source: Romney-Rubio 2012

The Republican Party is in serious trouble with Latinos. If Mitt Romney gets any less popular with Hispanics, he’ll disappear from their consciousness altogether. The reasons for Latinos’ antipathy toward the GOP include the endless insults that Republicans have lobbed at Hispanics, along with the fact that Latinos are not as socially conservative as people think.
Still, one would think more Hispanics would embrace that offshoot of conservative thought known as

photo source: Pew Research Center

This philosophy, which holds that the individual is the basic unit of society and must be subject to as little governmental influence as possible, should really resonate with people who have roots in lands where the government crushes all free thought. It should also appeal to people who often have to pull themselves up from their bootstraps (to use a favorite conservative cliché) and start over in a new country.

photo source: REUTERS/Mark Makela

But that hasn’t happened. Currently, libertarians “are largely white, well-educated, and affluent.” One could even say that “libertarians are mostly rich young white guys who, compared to most other Americans, live comfortable and financially secure lives.”

Of course, there are Latino libertarians out there. But in general, talking Hispanics into espousing the Ron Paul agenda is only slightly easier than getting the pope to show up at the Stonewall Inn for a drink.

photo source: AP

Libertarianism is still overwhelmingly the privilege of white men, who have a cultural advantage over other groups, regardless of what economic class they were born into. As such, they may believe they have achieved success solely through their own initiative. They may be blind to all the help they received, especially if their consciences are clear and they never discriminate against other ethnicities. They are certain they can do anything they set their minds to, because quite frankly, they often have done so (with society’s help, of course).
However, this mindset blinds them to the fact that certain things — and this is un-American to say — are beyond their individual control. These can range from sudden health issues to global economic upheavals. They can also include the fact that the game is rigged to benefit the rich and that people’s freewill decisions can be manipulated more easily than you think.

Perhaps Latinos, with our cultural baggage of Catholic fatalism and dictatorial governments, are more likely to know that a single person does not have unlimited power. Or maybe our emphasis on family provokes us to think beyond our individual needs. Or perhaps we realize that, despite a work ethic second to none, ceaseless labor and ambition are not always sufficient to get a person ahead in life.

Or maybe it comes down to the possibility that it’s very easy to demand a libertarian system when one has gotten a good start in life and reaps the benefits of being on top of the socioeconomic pyramid. It’s less common to advocate for that when you’re still trying to claw your way upward. In any case, I’m sure that if she had it to do all over again, Ayn Rand would have included at least one plucky Chicano objectivist named Hernandez in Atlas Shrugged.
Talk about a missed opportunity.

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Read More: Huffington Post

WHICH EIGHT STATES WILL SHAPE THE 2012 ELECTION

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PBS SPECIAL

JUDY WOODRUFF: Christina, what does it look like, 50/50?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Yeah, absolutely.
You’ve got — first of all, you’re going to see dozens and dozens of polls over the next five months. And some of them are going to be a little bit more important than others. But one of the things that you’re seeing nationally is that, since it’s been clear that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee here, he’s starting to inch up a little bit on the president in national perspective.

But in the battleground states, where the president’s team has really invested a lot of money in their ground game, their campaign infrastructure, hiring a lot of people and registering voters, you’re seeing it a little bit stronger for the president in some of them and then Romney having a little bit of ground to make up in both.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, speaking of those battlegrounds states, if you look at a map of the United States — and we just happen to have our Vote 2012 Map Center right here to show everybody — you see those states in blue that are considered either solidly or leaning Democratic. In red, we’re showing the states that are solidly or leaning Republican, and then yellow, eight states that are tossups.
So, Stu, let’s talk about those. And let’s start on the East Coast and work our way west with Florida, which keeps everybody guessing, at least at this stage of the campaign. What does Florida look like?

photo source: Flickr

STUART ROTHENBERG: Right, certainly as it did in 2000.
Well, there’s a recent NBC News/Marist poll that has the president up by four points, 48 to 44. That’s among registered voters. If you look historically at Florida, Judy it performs more Republican than the country as a whole. That is a few points more Republican. So, although President Obama won it last time, he didn’t win it by anything close to the over seven points he won nationally.
I think you have to look at Florida in a number of ways. Hispanics are an important constituency, senior citizens, of course. But really Florida is three states in one. North Florida performs the way the South does. It’s conservative. South Florida, particularly the Gold Coast, the Miami-Broward portion of the state, is more like New Jersey. So Florida is going to be determined probably by swing voters in the I-4 Corridor, that central part of the belt stretching from Orlando all the way over to Tampa-St. Pete.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Which we hear about in every election.
So, let’s move up a little bit north there to Virginia.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Right. Virginia is the battleground of all battlegrounds. Of course, it did not vote Democratic — it voted Democratic in 2008, but it hadn’t since 1964. This was a big win for Barack Obama in 2008.
And they did that in part by targeting a lot of the expanding suburbs in the Washington area in Northern Virginia and also looking at this military region, Hampton Roads, and also targeting younger voters and the changing demographics of Virginia.
So, this is something — you’re going to see this, both campaigns put a lot of energy and resources there. It’s very easy for the president to cross over into Virginia and campaign here. You saw him hold one of his first reelection rallies in Richmond.
And you’re going to see a lot more there. And Mitt Romney has made very clear he’s going to contest here. When you look at where these campaigns are advertising, Virginia is almost always on the list for the campaigns and the super PACs that are backing them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So long, as you say, a state the Republicans could almost take for granted, but not anymore.
So, Stu, let’s turn to the Midwest, and quickly look at three states there, starting with Ohio.
STUART ROTHENBERG: So there’s a recent NBC News/Marist poll that shows the president up by five points, though only in the mid-40s, against Mitt Romney. Ohio went for Bush in 2000 and 2004.
It then went for President Obama, not the way it did it nationally. Nationally, the president won by seven. In Ohio, it was about 4.5 points. I think one of the interesting things about Ohio is the economic recovery. The automobile industry and the overall sense that the economy is coming back, will that help the president enough to help him carry a state that, all things being equal — and they are never equal, Judy — but all things being equal, the Republicans have a slight advantage in.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Okay, and near and still in the Midwest, Christina,  Iowa.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Iowa, this is a really interesting state because it has swung for both parties over the presidential years.
And, obviously, it’s very near and dear to President Obama’s heart because it is where he was able to sort of start his path to the Democratic nomination in 2008 by winning the caucuses. He put a lot of investment in getting the young college voters in that state to get engaged for him. He has campaigned there many times.
He has sent the vice president there many times. But it’s also an interesting state because the economy is a little bit better in Iowa than it is in other parts of the country. And you’re also seeing a pretty strong Republican effort in some of the down-ballot races. So, you have got some competitive congressional races. You’re seeing a lot of advertising at that level.
So, this is not a state that the Obama campaign can take for granted this year.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Stu, quickly to Wisconsin, which is a state that all — that also has a very closely watched governor recall.
STUART ROTHENBERG: Right. Right.
And the state is very polarized. The recall shows the race close, as Gov. Scott Walker facing a recall against Tom Barrett. Fascinating state, Judy. In 2000 and 2004, this state went Democratic by each time less than one-half of 1 percent. And yet in 2008, it blew open. The president won it by almost 14 percentage points.
The question is, now, is it going to come back? Some of these Upper Midwest states like good government candidates who talk about bringing the country together. I think the thing to watch here is white working-class voters and to what extent are they dissatisfied with the economy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, we’re going to touch just very briefly now on these last few states we want to talk about.
Christina, in New   Hampshire, it’s only four electoral votes, but in a close race, that could matter.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Especially when you have got Mitt Romney, who was the governor of Massachusetts. He owns property in New Hampshire. He has spent a lot of time there. He’s beloved by a lot of these residents and it really has got this independent streak. It backed President Obama in 2008, but they do like to make a little bit of a switch here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Stu, moving out west, Colorado?
STUART ROTHENBERG: I would say the two keys here are Hispanics and suburban voters. This is the West, but it’s not the West like Wyoming or Arizona or Montana.
There are a whole bunch of suburban voters here around the Denver area that probably will decide this election and again the Hispanic turnout.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Christina, the last of these swing states we’re looking at is Nevada.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Yes. And the Hispanic turnout is very, very important in this race.
And you have also got the president was able to activate a very strong Democratic base in that state in 2008. He helped Senator — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid win reelection in 2010 with that. And that’s what he’s trying to do now. And we have noticed these campaigns are not advertising there, in part because the president is standing strong.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So let’s finally look at the map again and talk just quickly about what the president and what Gov. Romney have to do to get to that 270, which is what they need. Several paths, Stu, for the president, but maybe only a few for Gov. Romney.
STUART ROTHENBERG: That’s true. Romney must win Ohio and Florida.
And then I think the key is going to come down to Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado. I think Virginia is going to be a crucial state, Judy. And I don’t say that just because we’re located in Virginia at the moment. You know, when you do the math, if the Republicans win the states that they have in the past, if Romney wins them, it’s going to come down to a handful of states.
The president has a lot more opportunities. If he can pick off Ohio, for example, he makes it impossible for Mitt Romney to win.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Quick last word.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: And you can take a look on our Map Center. Basically, if the president is able to win all of these states, he wins reelection fairly easily. But if Mitt Romney is able to pick off just a few — he’s going to need a lot more than that. He’s basically going to run the table with some of these states to be able to make this happen.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And when our — I should just say that our viewers can go online to our Web site, look at this map. You can play with it. You can see what it means when different states go Romney or Obama. You can see the different paths and make it turn out any way you want. Is that right?
STUART ROTHENBERG: Yes, sure.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Unlike in November, when it really counts.
STUART ROTHENBERG: Right.
(LAUGHTER)
JUDY WOODRUFF: Christina Bellantoni, Stu Rothenberg, thank you both.
STUART ROTHENBERG: Thanks, Judy.

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WHAT WILL VOTER TURNOUT BE LIKE IN 2012: HERE ARE THREE SCENARIOS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Will strong turnout by minority voters lock up the November election for President Barack Obama? Or will the enthusiasm of the 2010 midterms carry over to boost white voter turnout, helping the Republican nominee? William H. Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, examines that question in a new paper.

photo source: Dallas Observer blog

The minority vote in 2008 played a decisive role for Mr. Obama both nationally and in several key states. He lost the white vote but outperformed among all other races. In North Carolina, where Mr. Obama won by a mere 14,000 votes, African Americans accounted for nearly a quarter of the electorate, and 95% of them voted for Mr. Obama, according to exit polls. Minority voters also helped push Mr. Obama over the top in Indiana, Virginia and New Mexico, while expanding his margins in big states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

photo source: ThirdCoast Digest

Indeed in 2008, the paper notes, turnout by African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans was a few percentage points higher in each group than in 2004 (65% in 2008 vs. 60% in 2004; 50% vs. 47%; and 47% vs. 44% respectively for each group), while white turnout was one point less (66% vs. 67%).

Jae C. Hong AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the RNC State Chairman’s National Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, April 20, 2012.

Also, the margin of votes for the Democrats among minority groups, already sizable in 2004, expanded greatly in 2008. That is, more minorities were voting, and those votes were much more heavily Democratic. For white voters, which lean toward Republicans, the margin narrowed, but was still in the Republican column. In short, white turnout slumped, and whites who did vote voted less Republican than four years earlier.

photo source: AP

With this as background, Mr. Frey poses the question:
As we approach November, minorities will account for a slightly larger share of eligible voters than in 2008. At the same time, white support for the Republican candidate may be greater than in 2008. Which dynamic will prevail?

photo source Reuters

He has three scenarios:

Scenario A assumes that the 2008 turnout and voting patterns again apply to 2012 voters. If that occurs, Obama wins with 29 states and 358 electoral votes. (270 electoral votes are needed to win.)

Scenario B applies 2004 turnout and voting patterns to the 2012 population. In this scenario, Mr. Romney beats Mr. Obama, with 286 electoral votes in 30 states.

Scenario C assumes strong partisan participation for both whites and minorities in 2012. This scenario is perhaps the most likely of the  three, says Mr. Frey. In this scenario, whites in each state are assumed to have more enthusiasm for the GOP nominee (likely Mitt Romney) in 2012 than in 2008 (John McCain) and as a result will mimic their 2004 patterns. Meanwhile, minorities are presumed to follow their strong 2008 turnout and voting margins. In this scenario, Mr. Obama wins, narrowly, with 292 electoral votes spread among 24 states.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

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WHAT IS THE LATEST WITH IMMIGRATION AND THE ELECTION?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

This has been a historic week on immigration policy in an election year.

If upheld, the Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona “show me your papers” provision would have a huge mobilizing effect on Latino voters.  At the Supreme Court’s Arizona v. United States hearing on Wednesday, the narrow legal focus of the proceedings and Justices’ related discussion led many commentators to speculate that the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law would likely stand.  A ruling to uphold the law would not only unleash widespread discrimination in Arizona and other states with copycat legislation, it would mobilize Latino voters and other voters for whom the immigration debate is important and viewed through a personal lens.  Regardless of the outcome, the ruling will have major political ramifications in 2012 presidential race.
Coming in the heat of a race in which Democrats hope for huge Latino turnout and Republicans hope for just the opposite, the decision will draw a sharp contrast between a President who fought the Arizona law and a Republican nominee who supports it.

“Will Mitt Etch-a-Sketch on immigration?”

Probably not, but if he does, it won’t work. In diagnosing Mitt Romney’s problem with Latino voters, many commentators have concluded that Romney will tack toward the middle on immigration. We beg to differ. He may come up with some legal immigration package designed to soften his image a bit, but it’s our view that he has pandered too much and too recently to the nativist minority in the GOP to flip flop now. The last thing the Romney campaign wants is a fight with the right over immigration combined with a week of stories about his “Etch-a-Sketch” on immigration. And if we are wrong and he does shift positions, would it work? We think not. He’s already branded with Latino voters.  As Ron Brownstein notes of recent polling, “Obama’s share of the vote among Latinos notably exceeds his approval rating with them.
That’s a telling measure of how much Romney has alienated those voters, because it’s unusual for a president to poll much above his approval rating with any group.”  And Latino voters are not stupid.  They are not going to fall for a little general election shuffle.  Just ask Meg Whitman.  Some salt and pepper for the stew: Andrew Sullivan predicts Romney will stay hard right here; Michael Tomasky thinks Romney will bust a move to the center but argues it wouldn’t work here.

Marco Rubio’s DREAMs: looking past 2012 to 2016? 

                                                                           Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

The chatter surrounding Senator Marco Rubio’s impending legislation modeled on the DREAM Act has reached a fever pitch. Much of the commentary focuses on what Rubio and the DREAM legislation might mean for Romney in 2012 and Rubio’s chances in the Veepstakes.  Again, we beg to differ.  We doubt Rubio will be the VP choice and we believe he has a longer-term vision in mind. Our take is that Rubio knows Romney is cooked with Latino voters and is already focused on Republican Party’s post-2012 effort to repair its image among Latino voters.  Eventual passage of a Rubio-championed DREAM Act would indeed help Rubio’s chances to be the leader of a more Latino-friendly GOP going into 2016.

Pundits and insiders agree – immigration helping Democrats and hurting Republicans:

photo source Getty Images

What a difference a few years makes.  During 2005 and 2006, many Republicans thought they would reap the political rewards of using a hard line immigration stance as a wedge issue.  Though post-election analyses in 20062008, and 2010 showed that a hardline immigration position did not help politically, and in many cases hurt candidates politically, it seems as though the conventional wisdom has finally caught up with the election results.  A National Journal’s political Insiders generally agreed across the aisle that the issue of immigration stands to help Democrats and hurt Republicans in the November elections.  Almost half of the Democratic Insiders said the immigration issue would “help a little” while a little more than a third said it would “help a lot.” Among the Republican insiders, more than half believed immigration would “hurt a little,” a handful predicted it would “hurt a lot,” while three in ten said the issue would have “no effect.”

Read More: America’s Voice

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RUBIO HAS A DREAM

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Hoping to defuse an issue hurting Republicans among Hispanic voters, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is working on a compromise alternative to the DREAM Act, a proposal backed strongly by Democrats and Hispanics to offer a normal life to children of illegal immigrant families.

But Rubio is taking a risk that his compromise will please neither side. It could anger tea party-style Republicans while failing to satisfy many of his own Hispanic constituents. So far, he hasn’t persuaded even leaders of his own party, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker John Boehner, to get in line.

According to teaparty.org if the Tea Party wins so does America…

“It’s a significant risk,” said retired University of South Florida political scientist Darryl Paulson, a Republican. “The primary thing any political candidate wants to do is solidify his base, and this could fracture that base.” 
Rubio has been accused of using the issue as an election-year ploy, but his spokesman Alex Conant said, “There’s just as much political peril as there is potential benefit in doing anything like this.”
Originally proposed by members of both parties 10 years ago, the original DREAM Act would allow a path to citizenship for young people brought here as children when their families illegally immigrated, if they attend college or serve in the military. The name is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. Such young people, not having known any other home, often are prevented from going to college because of their undocumented status, even after serving in the military. The DREAM Act would allow student loans and work-study jobs but not federal higher education grants for the students.

Daniela Pelaez/ Photo by Bill Clark/Roll Call

One recent case involved the valedictorian of North Miami High School, Daniela Pelaez, an aspiring surgeon. Admitted to the University of Florida and Dartmouth College, she instead faced deportation because her family came here illegally from Colombia when she was 4 years old. Pelaez got a respite from deportation last month after her case made headlines and sparked demonstrations by fellow students.

Daniela Pelaez 18, Alberto Carvalho, superintendent for Miami-Dade Public Schools, and Dayana Pelaez 26, at press conference, where over twenty-five hundred students protest the possible deportation of student Daniela Pelaez 18, this Friday morning, March 2, 2012, at the North Miami Senior High School. Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Rubio recently told The Huffington Post he wants “a bipartisan solution … that does not reward or encourage illegal immigration by granting amnesty, but helps accommodate talented young people like Daniela, who find themselves undocumented through no fault of their own.” Throughout his career, Rubio has had to thread the needle on immigration issues, trying on the one hand to please his conservative base, but also satisfy his Hispanic constituency. That has led him to compromise or to take ambivalent positions on issues, including official English and tough state anti-illegal immigrant laws. The son of a Cuban immigrant family, Rubio has said the original DREAM Act is flawed because allowing a path to citizenship could lead to “chain migration,” in which family members sponsor each other.

His proposal, which he hopes will be considered this summer, will include a temporary student visa rather than citizenship or legal resident status for students. But it likely would allow the students eventually to apply for legal residency without returning to their parents’ home countries. Those honorably discharged from the military, Conant said, also would be able to seek legal residency or citizenship.

Getty Images

Democrats who back the original DREAM Act, a 10-year-old proposal that passed in the House last year but failed in the Senate, decry Rubio’s idea as creating a permanent underclass of “bracero” non-citizen workers.

Rodolfo De La Garza CU Political Scientist/ Columbia Talk Radio

“It makes a very limited offer to a small segment of the population,” said Rodolfo de la Garza, a Columbia University political scientist who specializes in Hispanic voters. “I think what most Latinos are going to pick up on is what I have to characterize as either a political ploy or profound disingenuousness to the point of deceit on Rubio’s part.” He called the DREAM Act “the one issue on which there is a clear Latino position — they are 75-80 percent in favor of it in numerous polls.”
Conant called the bracero allegation “nonsense.” “Nothing is in this proposal that would prohibit these kids from someday seeking permanent residence or citizenship.”

Immigrants chant slogans during a rally Monday, May 1, 2006, in Miami. Hundreds of thousands of mostly Hispanic immigrants skipped work and took to the streets Monday, flexing their newfound political muscle in a nationwide boycott that succeeded in slowing or shutting many farms, factories, markets and restaurants. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

In a national poll of Hispanic voters in January by Univision, ABC and Latino Decisions, respondents cited “immigration reform/DREAM Act” as tied with the economy and jobs as the top issue in their voting decisions for the November election. In Florida, where large numbers of Hispanics are either Cuban refugees, who automatically receive resident status, or Puerto Ricans who are citizens, immigration and the DREAM Act were still in second place, with 17 percent, to 23 percent for the economy. Despite that, Romney said during the primary campaign that he would veto the DREAM Act, although he favored the idea for illegal immigrants who serve in the military.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) after Romney was introduced by Rubio during a town-hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa.
Jae C. Hong / AP

Earlier this week, Romney declined to endorse Rubio’s compromise, even though he was standing next to Rubio in a joint news conference in Pennsylvania at the time. “It has many features to commend it,” Romney said, “but it’s something that we’re studying.” He said he expects to lay out immigration proposals before the November election, but added, “Obviously our first priority is to secure the border.”
Also this week, Boehner said it is unlikely Rubio’s proposal could pass the House this year, citing “a very hostile political environment.” “To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best,” he said. Conant called Romney’s reluctance “totally understandable, that he would want to see the plan’s details before endorsing the plan. But the idea isn’t likely to be popular with the tea party Republicans to whom Romney and Boehner must appeal. 

Boehner To Rubio: DREAM On, Dude! photo by Jeff Malet

“It’s an amnesty bill — it rewards lawbreaking,” said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-illegal immigration advocacy group. “Rubio is marching off into McCain-land” — a reference to Ariz. Sen. JohnMcCain’s support for an immigration reform bill that would have allowed a path to citizenship. “Whatever support he’s going to pick up from Hispanics is probably going to be far outweighed by what he loses from his conservative base.” he said. Rubio’s idea may get a better reception, but still not unanimous approval, from tea partiers in his home state, who consider him a hero.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah waits to speak during a Tea Party Express town hall meeting at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday.
Cliff Owen/AP

“Some people draw the hard line, absolutely no amnesty, but some tea party groups understand you’re trying to address a difficult issue,” said tea party leader Karin Hoffman, who said she formed her opinion from online forums and message boards. “They acknowledge you’re providing a way for them (young illegal immigrants) to be a contributing member of society, and it’s not blanket amnesty — it’s for the individual alone.”

Read More: Tampa Bay Online

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