Fight for Florida Latino voters is on between Obama & GOP

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On the conference call, Messina and New Jersey Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez took turns bragging about all that Obama has done for Latinos in his three years in office, while assailing Romney's campaign rhetoric regarding immigration, such as his endorsement of the controversial Arizona law that reignited the national debate about illegal immigration two years ago.

Here's that Spanish language ad being broadcast in Florida, with the English translation underneath:

I was the first in the family that was going to college.
I was motivated just thinking that I had to do this for my family
All the sacrifices that my mom had made, my grandma, my aunt... were made so I could be successful.
My name is Daniella Urbina and I?m an organizer for the campaign of President Obama, here in Denver.
My mom never took vacations; she?s sacrificed so much.
President Obama understands us. He understands what it?s like to not have what everyone else has.
He reformed the lending system to put college more in reach of young people.
Financial aid is very important to the Latino community, because many times we don?t have the money to go to college.
Since President Obama took office, things have gotten better.
And the President is not going to stop

In an essay, Ali A. Valenzuela, assistant professor of politics at Princeton University writes that Latinos have grown disaffected from both parties due to their failure to move on immigration reform since 2009:

Presidential politics, inaction on immigration reform, and increased action on immigration enforcement over the course of President Obama?s first three years in office have contributed to worsening attitudes towards the president and Congress among the Latino electorate. While Latino voter issue priorities have remained fairly stable over this time period, relationships between issue priorities and presidential and Congressional approval, party identification, and the certainty of voting have moved considerably. Among Latino voters, the significant drop in presidential and Congressional approval since 2009 can be explained in part by issue priorities.

  • Obama campaign manager Jim Messina

Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee announced Monday a new Hispanic voter outreach effort in Florida and five other battleground states, focusing exclusively on economic issues.

But Barack Obama's campaign manager isn't impressed.

"I feel very sorry for those organizers on the ground taking those jobs," Jim Messina said Wednesday on a conference call, which came on the same day that the Obama for America team announced the first in a series of Spanish language television and radio ads. This ad highlights Obama's record on education, and is being shown in Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

By now everyone knows that Barack Obama owns a huge advantage over Mitt Romney when it comes to the Latino vote in 2012 (something Romney admitted in his speech in Palm Beach on Sunday where he was quoted as saying that polls showing such a discrepancy “spell doom for us").

But just as with every other bloc of the electorate that supported him in 2008, Team Obama's challenge is to motivate those supporters to go to the polls in similar numbers this time around, which isn't easy after three years of economic stagnation.

There is also the thought that his administration is in trouble with such voters (despite the polls showing him with robust leads over Romney) because of his administration’s immigration enforcement regime and lack of progress on comprehensive policy change.

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