Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino / Hispanic Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad specs    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


Could the Latino vote in Ohio decide the 2012 presidential race?

Longtime Democratic activist Richard Romero predicts it is possible.


 By Alan Abrams, La Prensa Senior Correspondent


Can your vote be a deciding factor in this November’s presidential election?


According to one longtime observer of the campaign trail, the 2012 presidential election may well be decided by Latino voters in Ohio.


“It’s that close,” predicts Lorain-based Democratic activist Richard Romero, a member of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs and the body’s chair in 2008-2009.   


The election could be the closest since Bush v. Gore in 2000, says Romero, who believes it could be decided by as few as 10,000 Latino voters.

Richard Romero

During a telephone interview with La Prensa, Romero was highly critical of how both the Ohio Democratic Party and the national Obama-Biden campaign staff are handling the importance of the Latino vote in Ohio.


“Both the party and the Obama people truly have not recognized how important the Latino vote in Ohio will be in determining who wins,” explained Romero.

“If a Republican candidate gets more than 30 percent of the Latino vote, he will win,” says Romero.


He added a word of caution to both parties, stating: “If they really want to win, they need to keep an eye on the Latino vote.


“I believe it will be a really close election that may well be decided by 10,000 or 100,000 votes. And there are well over 150,000 Latino votes in play in the state,” says Romero.

However, Romero was concerned about the long term effects of the Democrats decision to import two staffers from California instead of allocating their responsibilities to Ohio Latinos.


Get local Latinos involved

“Some (state Democratic) party and Obama staff just don’t understand how important it is to get local Latinos involved.  All campaigns are local.  It doesn’t make any sense to bring in someone from out of state trying to understand people in the community,” says Romero.


“This happens over and over again, and it is sad. If they would hire local people, these individuals would learn how to run a campaign and also how to run for office. But actions like this keep the Latino community from knowing how to successfully run a campaign.


Locals know the lay of the land. And they would leave the campaign with the knowledge of how to win an election,” added Romero.

Longtime Democrat activist Roberto Torres, formerly of Toledo, then Canton, and now based in Cleveland, told La Prensa in a telephone interview that he fully concurs with Romero. He said the issue is being raised at the highest levels of the national Obama campaign.


Torres co-authored an article with attorney Richard Herman entitled “Cleveland must be better at attracting immigrants,” which appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business. 


Asked to list what he believes are the major issues of concern to Latino votes, Romero cited jobs as number one, followed by education and healthcare.


But that is not to downplay the importance of the immigration issue, which Romero says Latino voters see as being “a question of fairness.”

Roberto Torres


“I am disappointed with both the Democratic and Republican parties because both failed to make an effort to do anything to further the cause of serious immigration reform,” says Romero.


On April 18, 2012, the Ohio Democrats “Latinos for Obama” held a media phone conference at which Anita López, Lucas County Auditor, was one of the speakers.


“We know that Latinos will be a deciding factor in this year’s election” and that this election will have a long-standing impact on Latinos, said López, who is widely rumored to be seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor of Toledo.


She stressed the need to increase the number of Latino volunteers in order to win in November.


López told the phone conference audience that the effort “begins today” and would highlight Latinos hosting house parties as well as a major voter registration effort planned for the weekend of April 28-29.


However, neither López nor the two following speakers provided specific details on the events.


“We need to spread the word by talking to friends, neighbors and families. These conversations can lead us to victory in November and empower us for years to come,” added López.


She was followed by Isabel Framer, the founder of Language Access Consultants and a member of the State Justice Institute. She, too, is an OCHLA commissioner.


“The Latino community has a lot on the line in this election. We need to protect the progress made for the Latino community,” Framer told listeners.


The final speaker was Jason Riveiro, the former director of the Ohio League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).   He spoke about a door-to-door campaign that would begin that weekend, but did not provide specifics.


A follow-up request did result in information on that evening’s meeting at the Sofia Quintero Arts and Cultural Center in Toledo as well as events in Lorain and Cleveland.


However, one of the announced purposes of the 20-minute phone opportunity was heralded as being a media opportunity for the speakers who “will announce key members of Ohio’s Latino Council for the president’s re-elect” (SIC.)


But as of press time on April 23, spokesmen for the group still were not ready to release the list of names or details on the state-wide voter registration events.


The state-wide telephone conference was held on the same day that President Barack Obama was campaigning at the Lorain County Community College, but the two events were not coordinated, said Jessica Kershaw, Ohio Press Secretary for Obama for America – Ohio.


Obama then proceeded to Michigan for two private fundraising events that evening, one in Dearborn and the other in the posh Detroit suburb of Bingham Farms at the home of Denise Ilitch, before flying back to Washington, DC.


The next day, it was GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s turn to address an audience in Lorain, speaking at the closed National Gypsum plant to illustrate what he called the failure of Obama’s vision.


The importance of Ohio as a swing state could also be enormously impacted by the choice of Ohio’s U.S. Senator Robert Portman as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate on the Republican ticket. Even while Cuban-born U.S. Senator Mario Rubio of Florida was appearing with Romney at a Pennsylvania campaign event, commentators on MSNBC and other cable news shows were discussing the Portman option as being the most likely scenario to unfold. 


Adding to Portman’s impressive credentials is the fact that he is fluent in Spanish.


According to an article last week in the Boston Herald, the 2010 exit polls showed Republicans with 38 percent of the Latino vote “which is enough for a national majority since they carried whites by a record 60 to 37 percent.”

Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/24/12 18:19:35 -0700.





Web laprensa





«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and Hispanic events with English and Spanish articles.
Contact us at [email protected] or call (419) 870-6565



Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2012