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Markos Runs the Numbers: Romney's Latino Problem Looks Insurmountable

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markosA detailed analysis of the 2012 electoral map by Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos shows that Mitt Romney’s problem with Latino voters could be decisive in the November elections.  The analysis relies on recent polling, information about Latino voter turnout, and examinations of 2012 battleground states to highlight the fact that Romney is in a deep hole with Latino voters that could cost him the election. 

Based on recent polling from Fox News Latino that gives Barack Obama a margin of 70%-14% over Mitt Romney, Markos analyzes what would happen if the Latino vote goes for Obama by a margin of 80%-20% in swing states with significant Latino populations.  The five “Latino battleground” states are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.  In addition, the swing states of North Carolina and Virginia each have a Latino population of 8%.  Kos sets Florida aside, noting the state’s heavily Cuban-American voting bloc is more conservative. 

The results of Kos’s analysis should give Republicans heartburn – the overall results in Arizona would swing +8 points toward Obama, +5 in Colorado, +1 in Nevada, +9 in New Mexico and +2 in Virginia.  Even in North Carolina, the relatively small 0.7% shift towards Obama would be “significant in a state in which Obama won by just 14,000 votes.”  

Looking at the numbers, Kos concludes:

There’s no way Republicans can suffer electoral swings of that magnitude and survive.

Examining the full 2012 electoral map, Kos engages in further number crunching.  Even after he cedes every single other marginal 2012 battleground state to Mitt Romney, including Florida and Democratic-leaning states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Kos concludes that Romney cannot reach 270 electoral votes, given the shift in the Latino-heavy battleground states.  Writes Markos:

Now here’s the kicker—if Latinos help lock down those swing states above for Obama (even excluding Florida), there’s no realistic path to a Romney presidency. None…

I’ve given Romney every marginal state, including ones he clearly won’t win like Wisconsin, and yet he still can’t get to 270 votes if Latinos cost him every battleground state in which they are a factor.

As a result of Romney’s dire straits with Latino voters, it’s no surprise that his campaign is gearing up to hit the reset button.  As Think Progress reported this morning, Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom appeared on CNN today and was asked if he is concerned that Romney’s tack to the far right in the primary will hurt him with moderate voters in the general election.  Ferhnstrom said:

Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign.  Everything changes.  It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again.

Not likely when it comes to immigration, according to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Mitt Romney has dug himself so deep a hole as the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino candidate that even some general election flip-flopping isn’t going to get him out of it.  Just look at what happened to his supporter Meg Whitman in her 2010 gubernatorial run in California.  Whitman’s hard line on immigration during the primary battle left her image with Latino voters in tatters – a major reason she lost Latinos to Jerry Brown by a whopping 86%-13% margin – and with it, the general election.  The fact is, Romney’s unrelenting hard line on immigration has become a huge – and perhaps insurmountable – obstacle to victory in the fall.