According to the Census Bureau, “More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.”  Since Hispanics tend to vote Democratic—67 percent for Obama in 2008, according to a post-election poll cited in the New York Times—the Obama campaign thinks that growth could swing important states to the president.

A lot has been made of the notion that the Hispanic population, many of whom are Catholic, tend to embrace conservative social values but liberal economic policies.  And those conservative social values give Republicans an opportunity to attract them to the GOP.

But the real opportunity for the GOP to get their presidential vote in 2012 comes from the devastating impact President Obama’s economic policies have had on lower-income families.  Texas has the second largest Hispanic population; they come mostly from Mexico and Central America, according to the Census.  Most are hard workers who take service sector jobs in agriculture, construction, yard and landscape work, and restaurants.  When the economy goes south, they are some of the first and hardest hit.

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