Mitt Romney's campaign doesn’t expect to erase President Barack Obama’s huge advantage among Hispanic voters.
But it feels it can gain enough Latino support to enable Romney to take the election, The Hill
reports. Enough equals 38 percent, Jose Fuentes, co-chairman of Romney's Hispanic leadership team and former attorney general of Puerto Rico, tells The Hill.
"Our goal is to do better than four years ago and the McCain campaign did. Our goal is to hit 38 percent with the Hispanic vote," he said. That would be a sizable improvement over John McCain, who took 31 percent of the Latino vote four years ago.
But the target is still below the 40 percent share tallied by President George W. Bush in 2004. He is one of the most popular Republicans ever among Hispanics.
As for 2012, Romney has a great deal of ground to make up. Obama led him 67 percent to 23 percent among Latino voters in late July poll from NBC News/The Wall Street Journal/Telemundo.
Romney has softened his stance a bit on immigration since the primaries, which could help him attract Hispanic support. He already has beaten McCain when it comes to courting Hispanic voters. The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have used bilingual phone banks to contact more than 10 million Latino voters, a GOP source told The Hill.
Fuentes said Romney will catch up to Obama when it comes to ads directed at Hispanics. “It is true that the Obama campaign has had kind of a free ride for the last few months because we are constrained by the legal limitations of not being the official candidate of the party yet,” he said. “That will change on Thursday next week when Gov. Romney accepts the nomination and that will liberate for us a lot of resources that haven't been available.”
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