Through comedy Rosie critiques the insensitivity and outright cluelessness of Romney’s claim that winning this election would be easier if he were a Latino. That Romney could suggest that Latinos in the U.S. would be able to get elected more easily than he, as a white male, could only demonstrates how his life of extreme privilege has clouded his thinking. In this claim, Romney makes an open comment usually reserved for “backstage racism” suggesting that sharing the life of a visible ethnic and racial minority would offer him an advantage. Rosie ends the video by arguing that this statement by Romney might just cost him the presidential election.
Perhaps Latinos will decide the 2012 presidential election outcome ensuring President Obama’s victory over Romney. According to the Pew Hispanic Center 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the 2012 election. Another Pew report finds that Latinos favor Obama over Romney by 3 to 1.
If Latino turnouts are so-so and the overall turn out is also so-so then the strength of the Latino voter turnout may only reflect the overall growth in the Latino electorate. However, in American electoral college land it is regional turnout that really makes a difference. For example, regardless of how much Latinos favor Obama over Romney Texas electoral votes will not be going to Obama, regardless of the margin of Latinos who vote for Obama. This is a huge deal because Texas represents a large part of the Latino community in the country. The opposite of Texas is Virginia. According to Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions Obama and Romney are virtually tied.
However, Virginia Latinos still favor Obama by three to one potentially turning Virginia into a blue state come election day.
Perhaps increasing Latino political influence in the electorate will indeed result in Romney’s statement amounting to political suicide as Rosie (and many other Latinas/os) hope that it will.