What Will Unlock the Latino Vote in 2012?

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Latino voters are often described as the sleeping giant of American politics. They belong to a voting bloc with the potential to wield tremendous influence, but a history of not fully flexing its political muscles.

This year, the Latino vote is expected to be a key factor in the race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, especially in battleground states such as Florida, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada. And as we have discussed, both campaigns are bombarding Latinos with TV ads in an effort to win them over. But a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center shows the challenge facing both parties – Latinos don’t turn out to vote at the same rate as whites and blacks.

On October 18, the lead author of the report, Mark Hugo Lopez will join a panel of journalists, immigration activists and pollsters at a Feet in 2 Worlds town hall event at The New School. Moderated by journalist Maria Hinojosa, host of NPR’s Latino USA, the event will take a deep dive into key question surrounding Latino voters:

  • Will economic concerns such as unemployment and housing foreclosures guide them at the voting booth?
  • Will the candidates’immigration policies dominate?
  • Or will large numbers of Latinos simply sit out this election?

Join us for this exciting and timely event by signing up here, or follow the conversation online on Twitter @fi2w by using the hashtag #LatinoVote, and on Facebook and Tumblr.

Other members of the panel include Fernand Amandi, managing partner at the polling firm Bendixen & Amandi International, Chung Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, and Jordan Fabian, political editor for Univision’s English-language online news service.

The forum is cosponsored by Latino USA, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs and Global Studies programs.

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund.

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