Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:37 am
Audience members listen to President Obama talk about immigration in 2011 in El Paso, Texas. Hispanic voters face a choice this election season: continue to support Obama despite being disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn, or turn to Republicans at a time when many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken a hard line on immigration.
There's a man in Phoenix with a political playbook that has become valuable. So valuable, the Obama campaign believes it could help clinch the president's re-election.
Phoenix City Council Member Daniel Valenzuela is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Last year, he won a seat on the Phoenix City Council in a traditionally Republican district, and he did it by increasing Latino voter turnout by 488 percent.
The run-up to Wednesday's Republican presidential debate in Arizona has highlighted immigration issues including the so-called DREAM Act, which proposes paths to citizenship for some undocumented children of immigrants. Three of the top candidates have said they support only part of the proposal — an unpopular stance among the Latino voters the candidates are courting in the border state.
Republican candidates' efforts to win Hispanic voters have intensified in advance of the Florida primary, airing ads in Spanish and contending over immigration. Host Scott Simon speaks with Maria Elena Salinas, co-host of Noticiero Univision, about Hispanic voters' role in the Republican primary and the upcoming presidential election.