Mitt Romney spoke at The Latino Coalition's Annual Economic Summit yesterday. If the audience hoped to hear the presumptive Republican nominee talk about immigration policy, they were disappointed -- he literally didn't mention the subject at all and immigration didn't come up during the pre-screened Q&A session.
And why not? Because Romney already has a severe problem with Latino voters, and the more he talks about his agenda, the worse off he is.
Less than six months before November's presidential election, President Obama enjoys a sizable lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll of Latino respondents. [...]In this survey, Obama holds a 34-point lead over Romney among registered Latino voters, 61 to 27 percent. In 2008, according to the exit polls, Obama defeated McCain among this key voting bloc, 67 to 31 percent.
The president's approval rating among all Latino adults stands at 61%, while only 26% of Latinos view Romney favorably.
There's no great mystery as to how the Republican reached this point. Romney has already said he's an opponent of the DREAM Act; he's palling around with Pete Wilson and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; he endorses a "self-deportation" agenda; he's critical of bilingualism; and his casual dismissals of "amnesty" and "illegals" are a staple of his campaign rhetoric. It's why Romney has successfully alienated Latino voters to such a remarkable degree.
But given the size of the Latino community, especially in some swing states, this is a problem Romney may find it difficult to fix.
Update: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the other day, "I think we've had great successes when it comes to the Hispanic communities across America." He may want to rethink that one.