Politico reports strategists on both sides worry if Romney loses the Hispanic vote by a large margin, it could move those voters more solidly into the Democratic camp and hurt the GOP for a generation or more.
Romney trails Obama among hispanic voters by more than 40% in some polls, and it's unlikely Paul Ryan who voted against the DREAM Act and supports cutting entitlement programs favored by Latinos will attract more support from those voters.
That’s an alarming prospect to GOP strategists who have seen their party driven to near extinction in states like California, where strident anti-immigration voices have turned the Latino vote away from Republicans, maybe for good. Even as Republicans have succeeded in electing more prominent Latino politicians, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, they continue to lose ground in the battle for Latino voters nationally.
“There is no issue that is more alarming for the future national viability of the Republican Party than this one,” said Steve Schmidt, who managed John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “The precipitous drop in the support levels for Republicans is alarming because it indicates that more and more Hispanics are simply disqualifying from consideration anyone with an ‘R’ next to their name.”