With the election still 13 months away, President Obama is already making an all-out push to rebuild his popularity with Latinos, which has been diminished by the weak economy and a lack of progress toward revamping the nation’s immigration system.

Campaign aides are phoning Latino voters in swing states including here in New Mexico to explain the president’s record and recruit volunteers. Democrats are airing Spanish-language ads promoting Obama’s agenda; one released in Denver last week accused Republicans of wanting to “politically hurt President Obama” rather than create jobs.

In Albuquerque, volunteers in Obama’s campaign office have faced some resistance as they place calls to Latino voters.

“The excitement isn’t there like it was,” said Ana Canales, a volunteer and the county Democratic Party chairwoman. “There are a lot of people who are saying, ‘We’re not going to vote.’ We have a lot of work on our hands … to make sure those Latinos understand that he [Obama] is working for us.”

Continue reading →