In a small town in Colombia they held a mock U.S. election. People turned out dressed in red, white and blue to cast their votes for the next American President. A donkey wearing Uncle Sam’s hat paraded around.
If this had been voting that really counted, the final tally would have shamed Mitt Romney to consider changing his name and moving to another country.
The results were not unlike what surveys done in other countries showed. The Huffington Post did an article about what people in various countries thought. “Several polls indicate the overwhelming majority of people outside of the U.S. would vote for Barack Obama if they had the chance.”
Here in Bogotá I asked the people why they preferred Obama over Romney. “He is better for Colombia,” most told me. “He is more for the people.”
With Hispanics, Romney already needed to fight his way out of a bag created for him by both his party and former President George W. Bush. In Colombia, Democratic President Kennedy got a whole barrio (neighborhood named after him when he built a hospital to serve the poorer people. President Clinton gave support that helped rid Colombia of many major drug lords.
In the eyes of the people, President Bush contributed towards more death, supported oil company rights over the rights of the people and in a country with already one of the largest divisions of wealth in the world focused on policies to help the rich get richer.
Latinobarómetro is the largest and most trusted survey firms for Latin America. Each year the survey asks for the people in 16 Latin American countries to rate world leaders. Georgo W. Bush tied with Fidel Castro as one of the worst leaders in the world. Barrack Obama continually leads the list.
The Romney campaign constantly did not help rid itself of already negative suspicions. Instead it exacerbated them with his stance on immigration. The campaign constantly showed a misreading of the Hispanic people and their culture. In Florida instead of running a positive ad about how Romney could help the Hispanics they ran a negative ad against Obama. The Romney campaign seemed to think that all Hispanics are either Cuban or Mexican. Basically many of the things the Romney group did were just insulting to the intelligence of the Latin American people.
Some Americans dismayed with Romney’s loss have wondered why even worry about the Hispanic vote. Well, many analysts from the USA and other countries have stated it was those voters who swayed the election for Obama. Depending upon which report you subscribe to, 66 percent to 75 percent of the 24 million Latin American votes in the USA went to Obama.
Republicans like Senator Marco Rubio has been warning the GOP that they need to change their way of thinking if the party is to even survive in the next 30 years. About half of the increase in the U.S. population in recent years is Hispanic. The highest concentrations are going to the Southern States which have pretty much voted Republican over the years. One report estimates, that by the year 2050, America will be home to largest number of Spanish speaking people in the world.
The Romney campaign did little to help the GOP in this area. But the party needs to get their act together fast. Marketing gurus already know that Latin American voters living in the USA are very brand loyal, whether it is for a product or for a political party.