We kick off a new series called "Central." We’ll be road tripping up Central Avenue, from South Mountain to North Mountain over the next few weeks.
Attempting to capture the Latino vote
A panel of experts discusses the political climate for the 2012 Presidential election, and the efforts by both major political parties to recruit more Latino voters.
Jaime Molera of the Molera Alvarez Group, executive director of the Arizona Democratic party Luis Heredia, and assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University Rudy Espino all comment on the importance and direction of the Latino vote.
Espino says that certain issues like abortion or gay marriage may lead some Latino voters to side with Republicans, but the majority still tends to vote Democrat. Heredia says that conservatives only won a sliver of the Hispanic vote but it was enough to make a difference, and Molera agrees that conservative philosophies are not an anomaly among Latinos.
Lucina Kress, an advisor to the Republican State Leadership Committee's Future Majority Project, talks about recruiting Latino candidates to run for office. Kress says people don't like it when Washington tells each state what to do on issues where the state would know best, and the Future Majority Project supports candidates who want states to take affairs into their own hands. She says in this election cycle the group looks forward to getting more Hispanic voters to the polls while pointing out the failure of the Obama administration and supporting the Republican ticket top-to-bottom.
Heredia says that Latino voters are voters right now, not just in the future, and at this moment Tea Party Republicans are not fighting for the issues that will help Latinos. Molera says the organization is a nice effort because it gives individuals a game plan when running for office. Espino says allowing states more freedom to decide is a faulty strategy; SB 1070 actually alienated the Hispanic population as well as other states.