Declaring that a "national emergency" exists in public education, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shifted from his usual economic message to outline his education platform during a speech to a Latino business group Wednesday.
Romney pledged to provide federal funding for "every" child from low-income families, or those with special needs, to attend the public, public charter or, in some cases, private school of their parents' choice. The proposals are boilerplate Republican Party planks.
If young voters were the breakout stars of the 2008 presidential election, then Latino voters may take center stage this year.
Every other week or so, it seems, a new poll gauges Latinos' opinions about the candidates, the issues and their level of engagement. Both parties are pouring millions into their Latino outreach. Latino politicians have assumed prominent roles in the conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties. And a Latino senator is on the short list of potential running mates for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
President Obama is attending a campaign fundraiser Monday night co-hosted by gay- and lesbian-rights leaders and a Latino nonprofit. The event is being headlined by singer Ricky Martin.
Obama maintains a commanding lead over likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney when it comes to support among Latino voters. But those same voters are generally regarded as socially conservative, leading some to wonder how the president's support for same-sex marriage might affect the Latino electorate.