In the 2012 election cycle, President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have been keeping one specific demographic in mind – Latinos.
Many analysts think Hispanic voters are the key to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, specifically in swing states such as Nevada and Florida. With a population that reached 50.4 million residents in 2010, it is no surprise that strategies have been developed by both parties to get the Latino vote. However, immigration policies should not be the only approach candidates are taking with the Hispanic population.
Today, the Sierra Club in conjunction with NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released an extensive poll conducted by Project New America and Myers Research. The results of the 2012 Latinos and the Environment Survey show an overwhelming belief that Latinos believe in global climate change and want government regulations to protect their air and water – a combined 92% understand that global warming is either already happening and it will happen in the future.
The Latino community clearly understands that due to fossil fuel production and usage, our nation is going through serious climate changes.
Latino voters are also mostly in agreement with the entire American demographic when it comes to regulations. The report found that 72% Latino voters agree that regulations protect our health by lowering polluting toxins in our air and water. A report released by the Pew Research Center recognized 71% of all Americans believe our government should do “whatever it takes to protect the environment.”
Regulations benefit all of us, but are particularly essential to Latinos.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Hispanics are 165% more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter than were whites. The report found that 43% of Latino voters say they live or work near a toxic site, such as a refinery, a coal fired power plant, an incinerator, an agricultural field, a major highway, or a factory. This represents a significant increase since 2008, when 34% reported living or working close to a toxic site.
As a result of the environmental injustice occurring in our country, the report states that nearly half of Hispanic voters (47%) report that they or someone in their family has faced asthma as a result of environmental factors.
It seems that the GOP is on the wrong side of this issue if they want to win the Latino vote as many of them want to not only scale back regulations (some want to just get rid of the EPA), and obstruct any possible solution to the mess we’re making by polluting.