Facing a tight race in Iowa, the Obama campaign is trying to rally Hispanic voters with a new organizing group led by members of the Latino community.
A kick-off for the Latinos for Obama Líderes Council was Sunday in Des Moines.
When Democrat Barack Obama won Iowa by 9.54 percentage points four years ago, Hispanic voters made up only about 3 percent of the electorate.
“The Latino population has increased by 84 percent in Iowa in the past decade,” campaign aides said in a news release today, “and Iowa’s Latino voters have an important choice in this election.”
In June, the Obama administration ordered a halt to deportations of young people brought to the country illegally – if they came before their 16th birthday, are 30 or younger, have no criminal record and pose no safety threat. The Associated Press reported today that internal documents show it could cost $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests.
The Iowa spokesman for GOP rival Mitt Romney’s campaign, Shawn McCoy, noted that the unemployment rate for Hispanic workers is 11 percent, nearly 3 percentage points above the national average. Millions more Latinos are living in poverty since Obama took office, McCoy said.
“The Latino community has been hit disproportionately hard in the Obama economy,” McCoy said. “Mitt Romney will take America in a new and better direction and repair the damage inflicted on our economy by President Obama’s failed policies.”
The Obama campaign also has organizing committees in Iowa to target women, veterans and rural voters.