Por QueEstelle Gonzales Walgreen
Iowa Caucus Results and the Overlooked Latino Voter
Photo: Iowa Caucus and Latino Voters
The first chapter on the road to the presidential election of 2012 was written Tuesday in Iowa without even a Latino voter footnote.
At midnight CST the Iowa Republican Caucus race was too close to call between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney with only 35 votes separating them. The big news: this was the closest Iowa caucus in history, which should bode well for Obama.
Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann quickly stepped up to acknowledge their 4th and 6th place, respectively and Ron Paul his 3rd place. Neither one even hinting they would or should bow out. Gingrich notably was the only candidate to reach out to the Spanish-speaking Iowa Latino voter with a last minute, poorly executed email.
He must of forgotten that if elected President he vows to make English the official language – no more Español even for election mailers.
5th place Governor Rick Perry said he would return to Texas to reassess his campaign. We aren’t sure if he’s taking his key supporter Sheriff Joe Arpaio with him, the alleged civil rights abuser’s endorsement didn’t appear to pay off in Iowa or attract an outpouring of Latino voters.
He will go home to some very pissed off Latino constituents who saw him disavow them, piss on the very popular in-state tuition for undocumented students and describe a crime infested border some of them didn’t recognize as their reality.
Let’s see how they reward him should he seek any type of elected office ever again, I suspect it will be with a swift boot kick in the ass and an ADIOS.
Meanwhile, Latino voters need to decide if Santorum’s deep Catholicism and pro-family mantra is enough to overcome his immigration stance: secure the border at any cost and no amnesty for the undocumented in this country. In his speech he did mention his Italian immigrant grandfather and in case anti-immigrant hot heads were listening he noted that he became a citizen in just five years.
Also did I mention he openly opposes Texas’ in-state tuition rates for undocumented students?
Romney took to the Iowa stage last – Jesus Christ that family is picture perfect even if they don’t know how to win at politics probably because they’ve already won the lucky DNA club.
This Republican candidate is viewed as having a harsh stance on immigration and just this week-end Romney said he would veto the DREAM Act if elected President. The passage of the DREAM Act is something, according to multiple polls, very important to Latino voters.
Overall, the Iowa Latino voter could not of felt important or counted since all the candidates, except for Gingrich, made no effort to reach out to them directly. CNN even presented a piece on how the candidates ignored the first Latino-majority town in Iowa, West Liberty – not even stopping in for a quick café con leche.
In conclusion, this Iowa Caucus will not be an indicator of where the Latino vote will go in November, 2012, because it will go where it is valued. In Iowa it had nowhere to go. The Latino vote in Iowa can be viewed as negligible since it is 2% of all eligible voters or approximately 42,000 people.
Did I mention only 35 votes separate the winner and 2nd place in the Iowa Caucus??? Imagine what 42,000 votes could of done for someone?
More importantly, according to the 2010 census the Latino population grew in the state by an astounding 84%, which means their influence will be felt in the near future and should not have been overlooked and therefore disrespected this year.