It wasn’t until the race’s homestretch, when the GOP ticket was still struggling to overtake an economy-defying Obama, that Romney started softening his platform’s sharp edges—not just on immigration but on women’s issues, taxes, the role of the federal government, and national security. Romney started championing a “bipartisan” approach to immigration reform; after avoiding the question for months, he said he would not repeal the temporary visas granted by the Obama administration to children brought to this country illegally. He increasingly voiced support for an alternative Dream Act that would grant citizenship to young people who join the military.
Last week, as part of a more robust Spanish advertising campaign launched after the GOP national convention, Romney began airing an ad that promised “to achieve permanent solutions for undocumented youth.” Starring in Romney’s other Spanish ads are popular Hispanic figures such as Puerto Rican Gov. and Rubio, who is Cuban-American.
Whether Romney’s outreach is too little, too late will become clear on Nov. 6. The Hispanic vote could be determinative in ,Florida, , and other toss-up states, and it will shape the outcome in battlegrounds with much smaller but growing Spanish-speaking populations, including ,, and Wisconsin. In , the state that could turn the entire election, Hispanic voters make up only 2 percent of the electorate. But both campaigns, as well as two pro-Obama groups, have aired Spanish-language ads there.