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Romney and Latino voters: Does he stand a chance?


Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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.