News / USA

    Hispanic Voters Could Play Key Role in US Election

    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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora