Mitt Romney trails President Obama by 40 percentage points with Hispanic voters. Romney is trying to turn that around with high profile speakers at the convention. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are all scheduled to speak. Rubio will introduce Romney on Thursday night.
But what do Hispanic voters think?
In Tampa’s Ybor City, Latinos say their views are as diverse as their backgrounds.
Ybor City was founded in the 1880s, and attracted immigrants from Spain, Cuba and Italy, who worked in cigar rolling factories.
Those factories are gone, replaced in some cases by trendy restaurants, and the Hispanic community has changed as well. While many Cubans still live there, an influx of Puerto Ricans and South Americans has changed the composition of the community.
Javier Maymì is a journalist with Centro Tampa. He says he is one of the droves of Puerto Ricans who have left the island, which is in the grips of a recession and high unemployment.
But Maymì believes that the community needs a transcendent figure like Martin Luther King before it can come together as a unified voice.
Maymì said that neither party is doing a good job reaching out to Hispanic voters, which is a missed opportunity, since it’s a growing voting block.