Worth Discussing

The overlooked Latinos

Hector Becerra | Los Angeles Times | October 20, 2012

PUEBLO, Colo. — Like many Latinos in Colorado, Earl Payne can trace his lineage to Spaniards who came to the New World more than 400 years ago. With his surname, light complexion and sandy brown hair now gone gray, the commercial loan officer never much felt the sting of discrimination of some of his forebears, like his brown-skinned, World War II vet father.

Like his four brothers and sisters, he graduated from college and found success, as did his children. But he also grew up poor and remembers summers picking crops with his siblings for $1.40 an hour. Those memories are one reason he can't vote Republican, he said.

"I think the Democratic party is more geared toward low-income and middle-income individuals, trying to help people get ahead the way I got ahead through education," said Payne, 59. "Romney said if you need to go to college, get a loan from your parents. That wasn't possible for us growing up. We were a very poor family."

Payne is part of a largely overshadowed swath of the Latino experience — multigenerational U.S. citizens who have little or no recent connection to Latin America...

...Resurgent Republic, a conservative think tank and polling operation, concluded from a survey in Colorado, Florida and New Mexico that Republicans had to increase their share of the Latino vote to "remain competitive in future national elections in states with significant Hispanic populations," many of which are now battlegrounds.

Filed under: Political Climate, Hispanic Voters, and 2012 Election