It's been well documented that Hispanic-Americans will play a big role in the 2012 presidential election. Polls last month showed Romney blown out in a head-to-head matchup against President Obama among Hispanic voters, with those surveyed showing uneasiness about the anti-immigrant rhetoric used by the former Massachusetts governor on the campaign trail.
Aware of the gap, the Obama campaign has upped their outreach and Romney-bashing directed towards Hispanic-Americans, who will play a key role in swing states in the southwest and Florida. Obama for America national co-hair, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told reporters Wednesday that Romney is "on the wrong side of every single issue that's important to the Hispanic community, particularly on the issue of immigration."
"Mitt Romney would be the most extreme nominee that the Republican party has ever had on immigration," CBS reports Castro said, going on to blast Romney for opposing Democrats' version of the Dream Act and for backing the "inhuman" policy of "self-deportation."
The Obama campaign launched Latinos for Obama Wednesday, which will include hundreds of events like house parties in the coming weeks and a Spanish-language ad campaign. Ads will run on radio and television in three key states -- Nevada, Florida and Colorado -- and will feature Obama for America organizers sharing their personal stories and why they support the president. Three Spanish-language ads were released on the Obama campaign's Youtube channel Wednesday.
Trying to close the gap and keep usual red states out of play for Obama, the RNC and Romney have moved to repair the party's strained relationship with Hispanic-Americans. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced earlier in the week that by the end of April, the RNC will have Hispanic State Directors in six of battleground states: Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. CBS News reports that Priebus said the state directors will work with state and local officials to recruit and engage activists at the community level and create long-lasting relationships with Hispanics "like we never have before."
On Friday, the Romney campaign released a new info-graphic illustrating the hard times the Obama Administration has brought to Hispanics in the U.S.
ABC News reports that the latest Gallup poll showed Obama’s approval rating among Latino’s at 61 percent. The Romney campaign is expected to call on high-profile Hispanic-American Republicans for increased support and outreach as the election approaches. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez have also been mentioned as potential running mates for the former Massachusetts governor.