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Obama: Rekindling the Flames of Passion

The economy continues to be Obama’s Achilles heel—even though Romney’s economic plan doesn’t appear to be convincing voters who are already skeptical of the Republican.

Barack Obama has made history in stadiums. In 2008, he accepted his party’s presidential nomination at Invesco Stadium in Denver, CO, with the promise of change.

Thursday evening, he accepted the nomination for a second term at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, asking the country to let him continue “Forward.”

On many issues, change hasn’t yet come—but give Obama another four years, he promises, and he’ll take care of the leftover items on his to-do list. And stadiums full of voters is what Obama will need to win re-election; polls predict that the race between him and challenger Mitt Romney will be very close.

The economy continues to be Obama’s Achilles heel—even though Romney’s economic plan doesn’t appear to be convincing voters who are already skeptical of the Republican, as is the case with Latino voters.

Even with one of the highest unemployment rates of any group in the country, Latinos don’t seem receptive to Romney’s economic message—evidence that anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric from Republicans has made a deep impression on Latino voters. 

Nonetheless, this week’s Latino Decisions/Impremedia tracking poll shows that after the Republican convention in Tampa, Romney and his party are making baby steps forward with Latino voters on the economic issue.

Thirty percent of Latino voters selected Romney and the Republicans as the party they trust to fix the economy—a record for this cycle in the tracking poll, but not yet the level of support the party needs.

Obama has retained the sympathy and support of Latino voters despite their high unemployment rate (which the present Administration continues to attribute to the policies of Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush). And Hispanics continue to support Obama despite his inability to pass the immigration reform he promised in 2008; despite breaking deportation records; and despite his expansion of controversial immigration programs involving collaboration between the federal government and state and local police. His granting of deferred action to DREAMers appears to be generating enthusiasm among Latino voters—but no one will know how deep that enthusiasm really goes until Nov. 6.

Obama’s record is mixed. The message of hope and change, which reverberated throughout the country in 2008 and mobilized voters of all kinds—youth, minorities, women, independents—is behind us now.

This time around, his record is likely to motivate some and depress others. It’s not enough to point the blame at the previous Administration, and make new promises left and right. Now, Obama has to explain exactly why voters should send him back to the White House. He has to mobilize not only the base who chose him, and who apparently continues to give him the benefit of the doubt—although mobilizing them poses its own challenge. He also has to consider independents, who need more specific reasons not to vote for Romney or simply to stay at home.

To Latino voters, Obama can point to achievements on many fronts—particularly health care reform, which will benefit them as one of the groups most likely to be uninsured; advancements in education programs; policies to aid and expand small businesses; and tax cuts and credits which put more money in families’ pockets.

But those Latino voters will still want to hear what he’ll do to create the jobs to alleviate their greater-than-10% unemployment rate.

They’ll also want to know if immigration reform will be a realistic prospect in the president’s second term. Obama can continue to argue that it will depend on the Republican support that was so obviously lacking in his first term, but he should know this: if he is reelected with broad Hispanic support, and his second term passes without concrete legislative action on immigration, it could have negative consequences for the Democrats in the long run. If he’s reelected with Hispanic support, without feeling electoral pressure for 2016, will he go for a legislative solution to the immigration issue or continue the administrative model, expanding Deferred Action for other groups of immigrants?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, he has to be reelected to begin with.

After Thursday, Obama will have two months to rekindle the passion voters once felt. 

Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor at America’s Voice

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Eye B. Tender September 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM
As usual the Dirty Demos want to brag about the various subset groups that they “own” through various forms of groupist bigotry – then leave links to their politically correct propaganda organs which are apparently supposed to explain it all for the Voters. Yet, once we pierce that smokescreen we can clearly see that the only minority group they really care about is the unionized public employees. Here’s the real issue: the economy is never going to improve so long as the most effective method of joining the middle class is by going to work for the government. This is because the government does not create and sell any product. So, once the Taxpayers’ money is invested in government workers, it’s gone. The only other jobs created are those providing menial service for the smug self-satisfied government employees. I can respect government workers choosing to support the Socialists. They’re voting their pocketbooks. But, for those not working for Big Government - unless you really like flipping burgers and mowing lawns for their Taxpayer funded leisure class aristocracy – you’re just being had if you Vote Dirty Demo.
Bob Peterson September 21, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Dems re-took the house and the senate in 2006. if you want to point fingers at anyone for the housing debacle, point them at Chris Dodd, Barny frank, Jamie Gorelick, and Franklin Raines. They pretty much ran Freddie and Fannie. Thats where the housing market crashed and a lot of people lost their homes. Bush asked for an audit in 2003. Maxine Waters said there was nothing wrong there. McCAin asked for one again in 2005. Same answer. the repubs .were booted in 2006 because they were not cutting spending and reducing the size of gov. Dems didn't do anything different when the took over in 2007. This is why we need term limits for the US congress. The Dems. never put forth a budgetfor almost 4 years. Now the dem controlled senate stops everything the repubs. send them.
Tim Condon October 02, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Here's another history lesson for you, Mason. From today's Wall Street Journal editorial page: "One of the tragedies of the Obama Administration is the historic political accident that it had 60 Senate Democratic votes in 2009. The ability to break a filibuster without Republican votes empowered the left to think it could pass anything, and so it steamrolled ahead with ObamaCare, which needed every one of those 60 votes to pass." How much can one party change in 14 weeks? Answer: Apparently enough to take over 1/6 of the American economy, and inject the federal government into every citizen's medical decision-making. You may like the idea of government controlling our lives in this area. Most people do not, whether it's "free" or not (in the end, when government gets involved, nothing is ever "free").
Susan October 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Consider the source, Tim: The Wall Street Journal has published op-eds from 10 writers without disclosing their links to Romney's campaign – including party boss and George Bush's brain, Karl Rove. The op-eds either attack President Obama or praise Romney on a wide range of topics. At least 23 articles have been penned without disclosure of the author's ties to the Romney campaign. This once prestigious American institution was taken over in 2007 by Rupert Murdoch, and his unethical scandal-ridden right-wing media empire, News Corporation. Fox "News", also owned by News Corp., has the exact same disclosure problem. Source: Ten Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Writers Who Weren't Disclosed As Romney Advisers http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/09/19/nine-wall-street-journal-op-ed-writers-who-were/189979
Mason Mccarty October 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@ Tim Condon: Flashback- In 1994 the GOP came up with the idea of the individual mandate as a counter argument to Hilary's plan because it promoted "personal responsibility". The conservative research group the Heritage Foundation (which the GOP cites all the time with taxes and healthcare) backed the idea. In 2006 Mitt Romney put that in place in Massachusetts. As far as government involvement in every American's medical decisions here's a few questions: Are we a single payer system now? Do I write my monthly insurance check out to Uncle Sam or to my insurance company? Does the government now tell me when I can and cannot go to a doctor? Does the government tell the doctor what prescriptions to give a patient? Can I change my insurance company if I want a better rate or does the government forbid this now? Are there death panels? If you don't like government being involved in the medical field does that mean you're in favor of getting rid of Medicare? If not then how come Medicare is fine for old people but not for those under 65?

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