According to a report by MSNBC, Mitt Romney is in trouble with Latino voters. In fact it could be said he is in real trouble. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll of Latinos indicates that Barak Obama holds a 61 to 27 point lead over the former governor. Those are numbers that could be described by some as a landslide.
When broken down further the numbers don't get any better. Only 26% percent of those polled view the Mittster in a positive light, while 35% consider him negatively. Conversely Obama's favorable rating is 58% while only 23% rate him as a negative. When it comes to handling the economy 61% of those polled say they approve of the president's policies.
Actually this isn't a new trend. Four years ago Obama ran 67 percent to John McCain's 31% among these very same voters.
No wonder Mitt's people are vetting Florida senator Marco Rubio as I type. The good news for Romney is that Rubio is of Hispanic descent, the son of Cuban immigrants. The not so good news is that Rubio is considered in some quarters as the crown prince of the Tea Party. Shifting further to the right is probably not the direction Mitt wants to take. He maybe many things, but he isn't dumb. He knows how well the far right ideologues fared in the primaries outside of the deep south and places like Oklahoma. They were so distasteful to the electorate that people actually voted for him.
And of course the Cubans are only one part of the Latino community which cannot be looked at as a monolith. Many, if not all of them, fled a communist dictatorship. The very mention of the name Kennedy still throws huge numbers of them into fits of frothing anger. This isn't true of the rest of the Latino community.
So how is it that Mitt doesn't play well in a socially conservative, heavily catholic voter block? Well, the elephant in his living room is named immigration. He has had to pander to the far right and they want fences built, troops deployed, and live ammunition distributed to stem the tide of illegal immigration. They aren't subtle about it either.
The Latino community is fully aware of where these yahoos stand. You're a tough sell to someone who knows you have scads of supporters who would prefer to shoot a cousin out in the Arizona desert rather than let him roof a house in Flagstaff.
No, it looks like Mitt is going to have to write this minority off as a lost cause. His only hope is that they stay home on election day. Unfortunately for Obama there is some indication they might. The only inkling of trouble for the president in this poll is that only 68% of those responding say they are highly interested in the election. That number is 81% for everyone else.
There is a long way to go before November, but with the race too close to call, Romney is going to have to make up for these votes some how. The question is where and with whom?