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A Latino VP? Marco Rubio's Limited Appeal

Posted: Apr 05, 2012

It used to be unheard of, but now black and Latino presidential candidates are practically a requirement, writes commentator Guillermo I. Martínez for La Opinión. Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio is popular in Florida, where Cubans and Puerto Ricans don't face immigartion problems. But his opposition to the DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship to undocumented high school graduates enrolled in college or the military, works against him among Latinos in other parts of the country, the commentator writes. It doesn't matter that Rubio is currently working on his own version of the DREAM Act -- one that would allow undocumented students to stay in the country legally without giviong them a path to citizenship. The fact that he is of Cuban origin and opposes laws that would seek to legalize undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is detrimental to him, writes the commentator. Latino voters across the country won't easily forget the tough stance the Republican Party has taken on undocumented immigrants.

Other Latino Republicans whose names are being tossed around as potential running mates include New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. Martinez and Sandoval are popular in their own states, but, like Rubio, have failed to attract the support of Latino voters in the rest of the country. Republican strategists think Martinez might be able to appeal to women and Latinos, but, like Rubio, her politics may be too conservatve to appeal to women or Latinos who identify as independents.

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