The push in 2012 to get Latinos registered and voting was months in the making, said Ben Monterroso, national executive director of the nonpartisan La Familia Vota, which had 600 people in six states registering more than 80,000 voters. In Florida and Nevada, the group exceeded its goal of increasing registration by 10 percent among those eligible to vote, he said. In Colorado, it came close.
“I believe the Latino vote made the difference,” he said. Now, he said, he expects political leaders to listen. The election’s message, he said, was, “Here we are, and you need to deal with our issues and treat us with respect.”
The top issues for Latino voters, he said, are the economy and jobs, immigration reform, education and health care.
On Wednesday, in the heart of the Hispanic community of Las Vegas, where Obama campaign signs in Spanish were posted down the street from a Romney field office, Jose Flores, a 23-year-old electrician and Obama supporter, recalled cheering the television as voting results rolled in the evening before.