Latinos

For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.

The presidential race has become much tighter in recent days, and in Colorado, a recent poll puts Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the lead.

Kirk Siegler

A new poll [.pdf] shows nearly three quarters of registered Colorado Latino voters plan to back President Obama in November, while also revealing greater than expected enthusiasm among the key voting block in the state this year.

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A new survey shows that politicians in both parties may be missing the mark when it comes to courting the state’s crucial Hispanic voting bloc which grew by 41 % over the last decade.

In this year's presidential campaign, $11 million has been spent so far on ads targeting Hispanics, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

That's eight times the amount spent four years ago on Spanish-language ads, and it's focused in just a handful of battleground states: Florida, Nevada, Colorado and, perhaps most surprisingly, North Carolina.

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.

"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.

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Spanish-language network Univision will broadcast the first part of its presidential forum Wednesday night. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be the first candidate to appear, and President Obama follows Thursday night.

The presidential interviews came after a dramatic clash that would rival any of the network's famous telenovelas. Univision confronted the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group that organizes the candidate debates, after it announced an all-white lineup of moderators.

Mitt Romney made yet another attempt Monday to narrow President Obama's substantial polling lead over him with Latino voters.

The Republican presidential nominee spoke at the Los Angeles convention of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he was respectfully received.

Coming out to your family as gay or lesbian can be an excruciating experience, and it is no less so if you're part of a Latino family.

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