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POLITICO

By GLENN  THRUSH | 3/14/12 6:38 PM EDT Updated: 3/15/12  12:39 PM EDT

Republicans had high hopes of eroding President Barack Obama’s dominance among Hispanic voters in 2012 — so  great was Latino frustration with Obama’s tough deportation policy and his  failure to fulfill the promesa of immigration reform.

Instead, with eight months to go before Election Day, Obama is on pace to match the 67 percent support he got from  Latino voters in 2008 — and the GOP may be undoing a decade of work to attract Hispanics,  thanks to its election-year rhetorical sprint to the right on immigration, a  charge led by front-runner Mitt Romney.

Romney — who needs to bolster his support among tea-party  conservatives — hasn’t merely embraced the controversial Alabama and Arizona  immigration laws, as most in his party have. He’s sought the advice of the  controversial co-author of the bills, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who  consults with the campaign as an unpaid adviser and whose endorsement has been  touted in conservative primary states such as South Carolina and Arizona.

More important, Romney has publicly espoused Kobach’s polarizing philosophy  of “self-deportation,” the idea of making life so inhospitable to illegal  immigrants they’ll flee rather than face legal proceedings.

Hispanics, a powerful bloc whose vote could decide the outcome in pivotal  states such as Nevada, Florida, Colorado and Arizona, seem to have responded by  abandoning Romney, with only 14 percent of Hispanic voters favoring him over  Obama in a recent Fox Latino poll — one-third of the Hispanic support George W.  Bush enjoyed in 2004.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74036.html#ixzz1pCywqoW2

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Huff Post- Posted: 02/ 1/2012 10:21 am  By-

The Florida primary is in the history books and, as analysts predicted, Mitt Romney romped Newt Gingrich. While the Romney campaign should pat itself on the back for its double-digit victory, they should keep the champagne on ice for now. The polls show President Obama down in Florida, but he may have gotten the last laugh.

Here are four troubling signs for the GOP emerging from the Sunshine State’s primary:

1. Statewide GOP turnout is down from 2008

You would think that with a Republican Party whose “single most important political goal” is to make President Obama a one-term president, GOP voters would have flocked to the polls; however, they did not.

Compared to the 2008 primary, GOP turnout was down 14% on Tuesday. In 2008, 1,949,498 Republicans cast their ballot in the Florida primary; last night, the number was 1,672,702. Are there less registered Republicans now in Florida than there were in 2008? No, there are 25,000 more.

The cause for the drop in GOP turnout last night is unclear. The Republican base isn’t electrified by its front-runner candidate, but it would be foolish for Democrats to assume that means they won’t show up to vote in November because the one thing they are fired up about is defeating President Obama. However, as we saw in the 2000 Florida recount, elections are sometimes won on the slimmest of margins, and Washington Republicans are going to need all hands on deck if they want to defeat the president.

2. Romney’s favorability ratings are down and his negatives are up

Romney may have bombarded Gingrich with negative ads and outspent him 5:1 in Florida, but as the HuffPost Pollster chart below shows, it wasn’t just the former speaker’s image that took a dive as the GOP candidates toured the Sunshine State.

MORE HERE

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Report: ‘Angry’ McCain Referred To Hispanics As ‘You People’ During Outreach Meeting

Think Progress- By Matt Corley on Apr 3rd, 2009 at 4:47 pm

On March 11, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), John Thune (R-SD) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) met with a group of Hispanic business leaders in the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room as part of an effort to reach out to Hispanic voters. National Journal is reporting that several participants in the meeting said McCain got “angry” while talking about immigration. At one point, McCain reportedly began referring to Hispanics as “you people“:

“He was angry,” one source said. “He was over the top. In some cases, he rolled his eyes a lot. There were portions of the meeting where he was just staring at the ceiling, and he wasn’t even listening to us. We came out of the meeting really upset.”

McCain’s message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama’s pace on the issue. “He threw out [the words] ‘You people — you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,’ ” the source said. “It was almost as if [he was saying] ‘You’re cut off!’ We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that.”

Thune, Martinez and McCain communications director Brooke Buchanan disputed the idea that McCain lost his temper. “It was a spirited discussion, but this sort of incendiary-type way that some people are characterizing it just doesn’t fit at all the tone of the meeting,” said Thune.

Regarding the use of the phrase “you people,” Buchanan said it was “in response to a question about people in general who had voted for Obama and was not meant to refer to Hispanics.” To imply otherwise is “character assassination,” said Buchanan. But, as National Journal notes, “one person’s straight talk is another person’s vitriol”:

But one person’s straight talk is another person’s vitriol. “My hands were shaking,” one source said. “I was nervous as no-end.” The senator’s comments went on for several minutes at least. And by the end of the meeting, another participant, who had supported McCain in last year’s presidential election, was so shaken by the display of temper that he decided it is good that McCain isn’t in the White House.

McCain has lost his temper over the issue of immigration reform before. In 2007, during a private meeting on the issue, a heated McCain told Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), “f*** you.” Echoing Thune’s current defense of McCain, McCain spokesman Danny Diaz dismissed the spat with Cornyn at the time as a “spirited exchange.”

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