The Latino Vote: Wide Awake, Cranky, Taking Names

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Benjy Sarlin reports that the Latino vote pretty much destroyed Mitt Romney's campaign:

"For the first time in US history, the Latino vote can plausibly claim to be nationally decisive," Stanford University university professor Gary Segura, who conducted the study, told reporters. According to Segura, the Latino vote provided Obama with 5.4 percent of his margin over Romney, well more than his overall lead in the popular vote. Had Romney managed even 35 percent of the Latino vote, he said, the results may have flipped nationally. 

The effect was at least as dramatic in swing states, most notably in Colorado, which Obama won on Tuesday. There Latinos went for the president by an astounding 87-10 margin, an edge not far from the near-monolithic support he received from African American voters. In Ohio, with a smaller but still significant Latino population, Obama won by an 82-17 margin. 

"This poll makes clear what we've known for a long time: the Latino giant is wide awake, cranky, and its taking names," Eliseo Medina, Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU, told reporters Wednesday on a conference call discussing the results.
Romneys 16 percent of the Latino vote does not merely approach the black vote in Ohio, it nearly mirrors Bush's 16 percent of the black vote from 2004. This should scare the hell out of any non-delusional GOP operative.

I am hearing a great deal of talk about "appealing to Hispanics" and "appealing to women." But I am not hearing much about endorsing actual policies. What happened last night is not a matter of cosmetics. This is not false consciousness. This a real response to real policies. Mitt Romney actually endorsed Arizona's immigration policies. You can't fix this by flashing more pictures of brown people. 

This is not a "branding problem." This is a "problem problem."  Latino voters didn't go crazy. Latino voters went voter.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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