After two election cycles of Democrats successfully marketing Obamacare to Hispanic voters, the health care law's rocky start could turn into a bargaining chip for Republicans.
Hispanic adults have supported President Obama's Affordable Care Act at a rate twice that of whites. More than 10 million Hispanics — roughly one-fourth of the total uninsured population — stand to benefit from the law. An outsized proportion of the eligible Hispanics are the healthy millennials who could make or break universal health care.
But widespread problems with the enrollment site are hindering Hispanics (and everyone else) from signing up for subsidized insurance, while the Spanish-language website has been delayed until further notice. In a surprising gaffe by an administration that has put a premium on Hispanic outreach, at one point the site geared toward Hispanics featured pictures of Asian-Americans.
Add to that news of hundreds of thousands of people in states with large Hispanic populations receiving cancellation notices from insurers, and Republicans see an avenue to court one of the most sought-after groups of voters.
"This is an opening for Republicans because Latino optimism about expanding health care is starting to wane like the rest of the population," said pollster Gabriel Sanchez, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico. "The Republican strategy of hammering at the health care law could work among Latinos."