News / USA

Hispanic Voters Could Play Key Role in US Election

Greg Flakus
HOUSTON - Hispanics represent the fastest-growing minority in the United States and an increasingly important segment of the voting population, especially in so-called swing states like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, where they could play a decisive role in the U.S. presidential election in November.  Recent opinion surveys show Hispanics favoring President Obama two-to-one over the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Luis Torres and Willie Fernandez run a Houston company that does completion work on construction projects.

But when it comes to politics, they differ, with Fernandez being more critical of President Obama, the Democratic Party candidate.

“Look at the deficit we are in now, economically,” Fernandez said.

“I don't think that is all due to Obama; it all came from before,” said Torres.

“No, but $15 billion in the first year...” noted Fernandez.

“Well, he has inherited a lot of this,” replied Torres.

But, while Torres defends President Obama, he is still not sure how he will vote in November.

“The last time I voted for Obama. I am disappointed in what he has done. I mean, he has really not done much. , I don't know if it is all due to the politics that are in play, but he has not fulfilled the promises that he made,” Torres said.

In recent speeches, President Obama has argued that he needs more time to deal with the nation's enormous problems.

“I know we have gone through some tough years and I know that for all the things we have done, we still have so much undone,” Obama said.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney discussed the economy in a recent speech in Washington to a group of Hispanic small business owners.

“I know your prosperity means greater opportunity, for you, for your families, for your employees, for your communities and for the nation,” Romney said.

What Romney did not mention was his hard-line policy on illegal immigration, which some Hispanic supporters, like Willie Fernandez, find troubling.

“Here you have to look at who is the worst of all evils, I mean the reality.  Am I happy with him? No, I am not. Am I happy with Obama? No, I am not,” Fernandez said.

Both Torres and Fernandez are naturalized U.S. citizens;  Torres came from Colombia, Fernandez from Cuba.  They both favor some form of immigration reform and think it would be counterproductive to deport millions of laborers who are needed here.

Another issue of concern to Luis Torres is that the number of Hispanic elected officials does not match the size of the Hispanic population in many states and Hispanic voting rates are generally low.

“Hispanics have to get behind their candidates and get them elected so that they can have more representation,” Torres said.

But Willie Fernandez thinks the ethnicity of candidates is often over-emphasized.

“If you are elected by the people, you should represent the people, whoever you are. You can't bend it to one ethnic group or another, you have to represent the people,” Fernandez said.

Both men strongly believe in the democratic system and plan to vote in November, but neither one is entirely sure whom they will support.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid