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President Obama & Romney fight for Hispanic vote

President Obama & Romney fight for Hispanic vote

CREATED Apr 19, 2012

Reporter: Tammy Vo

Both Presidential campaigns are fighting for the Hispanic vote which could make or break this election. 

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The road to the White House, could very well be paved by Hispanic voters. President Obama has launched Spanish-language ads in key Hispanic states and Mitt Romney was overheard by reporters this week saying  "We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party"  and that Latino support for democrats and President Obama "... spells doom for us."

"I think both are realizing and valuing the Hispanic vote and realizing how important it is to the Presidential outcome" said  Lea Márquez Peterson, President of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She adds that there's been a big push to get more Hispanics to vote, and it's working.

Who will Romney choose for a running mate? There's talk that he may choose a Hispanic running mate, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. On Thursday, Sen. Rubio talked about Arizona's immigration law,  SB 1070.

"I believe states like Arizona have a Constitutional right to do what they did . I do not believe that laws like in Arizona should be a model for the country" said Sen. Rubio.

A group called Project New America released a poll on Thursday, asking Hispanic voters in states with the presence of a home-state Hispanic Republican, who they would vote for: An Obama-Biden ticket or Romney paired with a Hispanic running mate? The results overwhelmingly favored President Obama.

KGUN 9 Reporter Tammy Vo asked Márquez Peterson "What have you heard from Hispanic voters? Which way are they leaning?"

Márquez Peterson responded, "In this community I hear criticism for both. The Obama Administration acting on immigration. I hear concern about the tone and messaging that Mitt Romney has in this campaign. I think the fact that he came out against the Dream Act in this primary race was not a good message to send. Will a Hispanic Vice Presidential nominee make a difference? I think the Hispanic community  will notice. Will that change their decision? I don't know. I think it comes down to his positions. What ideas does she or he have?"

It's estimated that President Obama won close to 70-percent of the Hispanic vote in the last election against Senator Mc Cain.

Vice President Biden is in Arizona Thursday night, Mitt Romney will be in Phoenix on Friday and the First Lady will be in Tucson on April 30th.