One segment of the electorate that I've been keeping an eye on is the independent Latino voter, partly because Latino voters are often caught between a rock (the Democratic Party) and a hard place (the GOP) and partly because I've been expecting to see something of a surge in the number of Latinos registering and/or voting as independents. Though a sizable majority of Latinos are Democrats --- nearly 60 percent, according to some polls --- highly religious Latinos often find it difficult to vote for a pro-abortion candidate, which at least in part accounts for the 20 percent who identify as Republicans.
This year, Latinos find themselves in a real bind. Neither party has delivered on its promises to the Hispanic community. And then there's that thorny illegal alien/undocumented immigrant issue that has unfairly tarnished the image of all Latinos --- whether or not they're Mexican or U.S.-born, legal or illegal --- and neither party seems to know what to do about it. What's a Latino voter to do?
Jose Armas of Hispanic Link thinks it may be time for Latinos to jump ship, and he writes about the dilemma facing the Latino voter this year in a must-read article, Should Latinos vote for the independent candidate? Anyone interested in independent voting, the issues of concern to Hispanics, and the impact of the Latino vote would do well to give Armas a hearing. Or rather, a reading. My favorite quote from the column: "Are we throwing away our vote if we vote for Nader? No more than we have on previous presidents." Amen to that.
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