The first figures about the Latino vote show that a vast majority of Hispanics supported President Obama in his re-election.
“Viva Obama” was the headline in “The Huffington Post” a few minutes after CNN made the projection of the Obama victory.
For the first time in history, the Latino vote represents more than 10 percent of the nation, a milestone for the Hispanic political power. Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote, more than four years ago.
Despite that the race in Florida is too close to call, the victory in Virginia with 13 electoral votes and Ohio (18) were enough for the re-election of President Obama with at least 303 electoral votes.
Obama also won the battleground states of Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire and got the popular vote by nearly one million, although the results were close in many states.
With a country deeply divided, the largest deficit ever and the House of Representatives under the Republican control, President Obama asked immediately to reach a deal in the most precarious needs for the country.
Obama said he wants to talk with Romney to discuss how to work together. “This election is over, but our principles endure,” said Romney earlier in Boston.
In a memorable speech in Chicago in front a huge crowd, Obama said that the “best is yet to come.”
A debate about the Latino Vote
Latino voters made a decisive impact on the Presidential race in key states across the country, according to initial Election Day analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.
The NALEO Educational Fund projected that at least 12.2 million Latinos would cast ballots in this election—a historic record.
It is clear that Governor Mitt Romney lost the opportunity to reach the Hispanic crucial community as President George W. Bush did in 2000 and 2004.
In a close election, every vote counts and the Latinos voters made the differences in Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico and Florida.
Latino voters turned out in record number and that benefited the Democrats. Obama holds support from Latinos by large margins—71 per cent and some polls put him as many as 50 points ahead—over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
For the Republicans, a big question mark remains ahead. How to recover the same high percentages of Latino voters that got President Bush (2001-2009) and President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) elected.
After a really tough primaries campaign, Mitt Romney went too far to the right and lost the opportunity to convince the Latino voters. Most of the Latinos were very upset about the broken promises from President Obama but were terrified by the tone and the language used by Romney and the Republicans regarding immigration.
Now the Republican Party has the challenge to change the mistakes over immigration and the lack of respect for the Hispanic community.
A new generation of Republican leaders headed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida); Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez; and the new Senator from Texas, the Cuban-American Ted Cruz will have a unique opportunity to chance the anti-Latino mentality of so many Republicans.
Plus the well-known representatives from Florida Ileana Rosh-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart must play a key role in the future of the Republican Party, as the former governor of Florida Jeb Bush.
On November 6, the Latino turnout marked the difference in this election and sent the message to America that the Hispanic community is a real force.
Across all the media, the electoral night was dedicated to all kinds of analysis about what the Latino vote means for the new political landscape.
CBS News highlighted that “When it comes to Latino voters, Mitt Romney is having the worst performance of any Republican candidate in years tonight.”
Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio interviewed on NBC about GOP said: “They took on the most extreme position and alienated Latinos.”
Where is the GOP Party headed?
In 2010, the GOP gained a landslide of Latino representatives and that pushed many to question where the future of the Republican Party is headed. With prominent rising stars such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has advocated for a version of the DREAM Act, more speculation is placed on whether Latinos in the Republican Party could break the extreme right-wing ideology that alienated some Latino voters. Once more that’s put to question in this election.
“I think the future of the GOP will rest in the hands of a Hispanic party,” said Raul Vargas, former chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. “A Hispanic party that in 2004 voted 44 percent for president Bush. I think we’re getting back to those days where the party is recognizing the importance of the Hispanic vote.”