Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Latino Electorate, Romney Can't Shoot Straight

It is already clear that Mitt Romney's presidential campaign suffers from a lack of, como se dice, umph.  But nowhere is this clearer than when it comes to the campaign's attempt to connect with Latino voters.  The Romney campaign has struggled to understand the often significant differences that exist between Latino groups in the United States.  Had this campaign been taking place thirty years ago, maybe one could forgive Romney.  But for decades, academics, political consultants, think tanks and, most especially, advertising companies have been pointing out that when it comes to Latinos, recognizing intra-group differences is the key to success.  Put simply, Romney and his high-paid and very smart crop of advisers have no excuse.  Alicia Menendez has captured the essence of Romney's problem writing yesterday:

"These differences — Puerto Rican islanders vs. Latino mainlanders, Mexicans vs. Cubans —  are the type of things you expect someone who is vying for your vote to understand about you, about your priorities, about your American identity. That basic level of cultural understanding shows respect. How can Mitt Romney represent us if he doesn’t even know who we are?"

If Romney has any desire to move in to the White House in January, 2013--he needs to fix this ayer.

For more of Menendez's analysis click here.

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