1. Florida Politics

Mitt Romney's convention speakers belie GOP reality with Hispanics

Published Aug. 28, 2012

TAMPA — Tune in to the Republican National Convention at 9 tonight and you'll see the face of the GOP is Hispanic.

Five of nine scheduled speakers are Hispanic, including Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, then Wednesday, Gov. Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico and Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico are on, and Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduces Mitt Romney.

The problem for Republicans is the diversity at the Tampa Bay Times Forum podium this week belies political reality.

Romney is far behind President Barack Obama among Hispanic voters, and his campaign so far has shown little interest in aggressively courting that vote. Party leaders fret that unless they reverse current trends, the long-term implications are dire as white voters represent a shrinking share of the electorate.

"If you're going backwards with a growing population, you're in trouble. I fear, long term, the Republican Party will end up being a regional party," said former state Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami. "After this election, you're skating on some thin ice." (story here)


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