How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Romney and Latino voters: Does he stand a chance?

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Mitt Romney waves after speaking during the 2012 Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, Florida, where he accepted the GOP nomination.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney secured the Republican presidential nomination this week, but polls indicate that he has a long way to go in order to secure the support he needs from Latino voters that could help him win the White House.

Unlike former Republican president George Bush, whose immigration message resonated favorably enough to win him substantial Latino support, Romney hasn't scored well there. The most recent Latino Decisions tracking poll had 26 percent of Latino voters polled saying they would vote for Romney, versus 65 percent saying they would re-elect President Barack Obama. This is far from the goal that Romney's campaign has set, which is that he'll need 38 percent of the Latino vote in order to win.

Does Romney stand a chance? It's highly unlikely he'll hit the 38 percent goal, says Louis DeSipio, a political scientist and professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at UC Irvine. But there are still a few targeted approaches that Romney's campaign can take in states where Latinos might help tip the balance. Here he explains how.

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Rubio as running mate: Help for Romney, or 'Hispandering?'

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Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, left, with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, April 23, 2012

Now that Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has said that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is being vetted as a potential vice-presidential running mate pick, along with others, the debate over whether or not Rubio can help steer much-needed Latino voters toward Romney has resurfaced.

There's nothing set in stone, but Romney confirmed the vetting after ABC News reported that Rubio wasn't a contender, a story Romney denied. Rubio, who earlier this year said he wasn't interested, is keeping mum on the whole thing. Not that it's been an easy week for him, but that's another story.

Interestingly, on Monday, a Christian Science Monitor headline asked, "Did Obama's immigration move make Marco Rubio a more likely veep pick?" The move referred to, of course, is President Obama's announcement last Friday that he would not seek to deport some young undocumented immigrants, allowing them instead to apply for temporary legal status and work permits. Obama's plan more or less rendered moot a yet-to-be-filed proposal from Rubio that promised similar relief for undocumented youths attending college or joining the military. From the Monitor piece:

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