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Is there any difference for Latino voters between Obama and Romney?

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

As we careen, cartwheel and plummet into the finale of this interminable election season, one refrain we hear many times is that Republicans and Democrats are one and the same.

Indeed, there is ample evidence that both parties are indebted to big business and the status quo. And as Latinos know, Obama’s original immigration policies weren’t much of an improvement over Bush’s approach.

Still, there are differences between the two men running for president — besides the fact that one is a communist Kenyan and the other is a money-grubbing fascist (hey, that’s what the internet told me).

For those who have inexplicably not paid attention, Obama is pro-choice, while Romney is pro-life. Obama is against the death penalty, while Romney is fine with it. The president has come out in support of gay marriage, while Romney believes marriage is a straights-only deal. And Obama doesn’t share Romney’s opinion that the U.S. government is inherently inept, corrupt, and/or evil.

I have to admit, those seem to be fairly large differences to me.

Even progressive icon Daniel Ellsberg, no fan of Obama, thinks the president is substantially different from Romney.

So who are the people yelling that Obama and Romney are clones? I mean, besides Lupe Fiasco?

Well, there are true believers who think a leftist or libertarian chief exec is a possibility (it’s not). Then there are self-proclaimed radicals who dismiss the entire American system as corrupt or bourgeois or just plain icky. And finally, there are voters who simply say, “It don’t matter none.”

But of course it does matter. And for Latino voters, it’s crucial.

Hispanics are the least likely ethnic group to have health insurance, a situation that the infamous Obamacare may alleviate.

On immigration, Obama has endorsed the DREAM Act (belatedly, of course), while Romney is still trying to explain how self-deportation would work.

And when it comes to economic policy, Romney’s tax cuts would benefit the upper classes, which are not exactly awash in Latinos. Keep in mind that according to some experts, Romney “cannot deliver all the tax cuts he promised to the wealthy without raising taxes on the middle class.” One can presume that Hispanics will not be among the direct beneficiaries of his tax plan.

However, perhaps some Latinos still believe that it doesn’t matter who wins. Well, think back to those distant days of 2000, when Bush was elected. At the time, many Americans voted for Nader because Gore and Bush were apparently too similar. Therefore, we have to assume that under President Gore, the September 11 attacks, the Great Recession, and FEMA’s horrific response to Hurricane Katrina would have all occurred. Those are rather huge assumptions, to say the least.

But the Iraq War, an obsession unique to neo-cons, certainly would not have happened. So for the families of 4,500 dead U.S. soldiers, there was at least one fundamental, very real difference between the candidates.

By the way, approximately 500 of those soldiers were Latino.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. don’t forget Johnson and Stein!!!

  2. “Did you know that so far, six Presidential elections have been held on November 6?” he asked. Some nodded, most looked blank. The American elections, after they were standardised in 1845, are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November every four years.

    He explained: ”The first time an election was held on 6 November was in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln won. The last was in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won. All six candidates were Republicans. So this time friends, we got to make it a seventh time. History is on our side.” The crowd cheered.

  3. time to make a change!

  4. Yes mi gente make it happen. We can’t let the right wing crazies win this or they will love nothing more than to send Latino immigrants out of this country by making it hard for them to survive here.

  5. A Xavier wishful thinking for your party

  6. Obama!!!

  7. Well with many Latinos, like African Americans, it’s what Obama can give them. They want and think that Obama will give them free stuff.

  8. The Dems party of freeloaders ans moochers!!!

  9. It’s a shame when any individual, group, or organization is marginalized… If you’re interested in engaging issues you are convicted about, speak about them intelligently w/out making blanket statments that do nothing for the advancement of your causes or convictions…

  10. I am Latino, immigrant, professional, who belongs to with strong roots in this country, and proud of it, and I will never give my back to those who have come before or after me seeking for better opportunities, so, my vote will be for Obama. Romney’s policies will only benefit the tip of the iceberg. Obama stopped the free-fall recession, ended the war in Iraq, gives women the right to choose, fights for the middle class rights to have a fair share, and overall, Obama represents the core of this great nation. Go Obama, USA needs you for 4 more years.

  11. I just wanted to point out how Romney in his mind already has margininalized every minority vote and 47% of the country that recieves any type of assistance, be it a student loan (tax dollars help garantee that loan), anybody who gets tax return/refund back (because that means YOU are not paying taxes), (though he fails to include ss and payroll taxes that all americans with a paycheck pay) sba loan, medicaid, medicare just to name a few. Yeah big difference in the way these two men think and which one I can relate to and see as someone who can help all americans move forward

  12. The only positive I see out of this election is the large number of Spanish speaking people who will vote for the fist time.. The reality is both candidates seem caricature to the presidents of past generations and we are choosing the lesser of two evils..

  13. Seriously Carlos, Obama’s policies have only benefitted those who are not willing to work for the American dream and want the tip of the iceberg to fund it all. Obama did not stop the free-fall recession because we are still spiraling out of control downwards!, The plans for ending the war in Iraq were signed by Bush get you facts straight i was stationed over seas in Iraq, women the right to choose what obama wants is for us to pay for it wake up!, what Obama fights for i not a fair share what he fights for is redistribution of wealth ( why dont you give your hard earn savings to those he says are under privledged???, and overall, Obama will never ever ever represents the core of this great nation. What he represents is division and a socialist programs that will never be a part of this proud nation,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Get a clue Carlos!!!

  14. They are both puppets of Financial Oligarchs.

  15. Xavier you are old news and that rhetoric didnt work at all

  16. Yeah, it’s really what can I get from the “gringo”! I will tell you a little secret, entitlement minded Latinos don’t want you to know that, and they will never admit it, but that’s the general consensus. Now, this is not to say that Latinos are lazy, or that Latinos don’t work hard, but they have been conditioned early on that certain organizations, groups, institutions, and white people have all the money and opportunities so they must do everything possible to have those white men give them things for free, quotas, affirmative actions…because after all the USA is a rich nation. They just don’t have the concept of fiscal respect or responsibility. As rational people we all know that there is a limit to things, that taking too much from one place will deplete resources. The same goes for the financial resources available in the United States, yes, we are a rich and generous nation, yes we do want and should help those in need, but to a point. If you have everyone wanting to take and get from the state after awhile there are going to be shortages. That is what they don’t understand or what they don’t care about. To hell with fiscal responsibility they say – as long as el gringo can give me what I need then it’s OK and maybe they will tell their relatives abroad to come here and do the same! You see the vicious cycle and please do the math!

    Other immigrants might have a similar attitude, but being a Latino, and interacting with other Latinos all my life in NYC, and now seeing their world views and attitudes on BL, one becomes more aware of the insane sense of entitlement (and also jealousy and envy) that’s there for everyone to see in the Latino community.

  17. @Walter Campos…stop repeating that trash you hear on talk radio… Get educated about the facts. #TalkRadioExpert

  18. I am a democrat and a small business owner… and I support President Obama.

  19. Netta stop denying the truth!!! open your eyes and use your common sense!! quit circumventing the real issues and denying that we are a messed up country and trying to make obama look like he is a hero ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he is not and its obvious that you need to be educated well so you dont come out with trash out of your rear end!

  20. I live in MA, I’ve been schooling folks for the last two weeks on the topic of entitlements. Their concerns? Fear of losing their housing, Snap benefits and cash assistance… God almighty knows I am not making this up. Obviously, I’m not speaking for all Latinos, I know more of my people who are hard workers and don’t receive any govt assistance. But my point is, there are too many people out there Latinos, blacks, whites etc., who are voting for Pres. Obama because they fear if they don’t they’ll lose their benefits. The majority of the people I know prefer to have a job versus receive a check from the govt. Smh

  21. @Mario Ramirez you must be so familiar with what you can get from the “gringo”…I’m glad you think you speak for the “general” Latinos/as…Go get a clue…and become educated on the facts instead of your own opinion of the “general consensus”…smh

  22. Netta see that what i mean ———-Many but many latinos do think like that! ,,,,,,”Ah que lo pague el Bolillo!, ah que le caiga al gringo, ah los gueros tienen que les va ser dano que le quitemos un poco?”,,,,,,,,,,,,,you are a small business owner so you say and are going to tell me you have never heard that before?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,its seems you need to get a clue!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this is not an opinion lady get out of your bubble and see how the rest of the latinos really live and go about thier lives annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd not like you would like to envision them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. OMG Netta are you serious???? for real do you actually think like that????? nYes its true many hispanics do make those comments, and do carry it out , but just because you dont do things like that does not mean many latinos dont!

  24. I was about to leave and vote for Obama, but then I read your comments and now I’m just not sure. Its a 20 min drive to Orlando, so I’ll have time to think about what you guys said. Thank you.

  25. I’m an Independent Small Business owner and I was not happy with what I had to pay in taxes (thank God I had no employees last year or else I would have really been unhappy). Not sure about other states, but in MA small business owners are being smothered to death AND I don’t mean on a state level. So spare me the lies on Small Business owners for Pres. Obama, that’s is a bunch of bull!

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