Amidst all this talk of courting niche constituencies, one population that does not seem to be in the spotlight, yet should, is the Latino vote. With the US Latino population recently eclipsing African Americans as the largest minority, none of the Democratic candidates seem to be addressing this group with the same dedication. Republicans have recently been dissing Latinos with their talk of building a wall along the US – Mexico border coupled with divisions between the traditionally GOP loyal Cuban American constituency, they are increasingly alienating that loyal GOP vote. Not to mention, Republican candidates have rejected invitations for a debate on Univision in September with no rescheduling to be seen in the near future, save John McCain who accepted initially. This could be a huge strategic mistake (a la Fred Thompson blaming Latinos for the mortgage crisis) for the Republicans. However, not only will the Republicans will be losing out, but the Democrats as well, if they fail to make more of a concerted effort to court Latinos.
While the Latino vote is ignored so goes their concerns and those of other immigrants, the closest talk we get on the Democratic side is Obama’s talk of “The American Dream.” He is making moves on the ground to bring in Latino voters (check http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mayhill-fowler/looking-for-latinos-obam_b_75550.html) with his widespread grassroots organizing. However, this coverage is not in the mainstream media’s limelight. It’s all too easy to know the Black vote has always been of concern. I have turned on the television to see Obama organizers courting black women in a South Carolina hair salon. There is talk about Obama and Hillary splitting the Black vote. Just cock your head to the side and listen to the wind to hear that Oprah has thrown her support behind Obama. And Ladies and Gentlemen, we all know Oprah has incredible influence. But, where are the candidates when they go to Texas, New Mexico, Florida, New York and California? To whom are they talking?
It seems puzzling that such a large group of people could be ignored, especially with a high turnout to be expected for this election.