CHARLOTTE — Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign signaled last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that it will make a major push for the Hispanic vote in the sprint to November.
On Tuesday, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Romney will address their national convention, taking time off from the final weeks of campaigning to reach out to an electorate polls show is not on board with the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Romney will speak at the USHCC’s national convention in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, the group announced Tuesday.
“Every presidential election cycle, we invite the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to address our national convention,” Javier Palomarez, USHCC president and CEO, said in a statement. “Gov. Romney’s attendance demonstrates the important role that Hispanic business plays in our national political conversation.”
The USHCC said Obama has been invited to address the group as well, and has not yet responded. He last spoke before the group in 2009.
Romney has struggled to connect with Hispanic voters during the 2012 campaign. The PollTracker Average shows him trailing President Obama among Hispanic voters by 30 points.
In Tampa last week, the Romney campaign made a major push to woo Hispanic voters by rolling out an endless line of Hispanic lawmakers who spoke during the convention. Hispanic Republicans say Ann Romney too could help close the gap, though her first stab at speaking to Hispanic voters didn’t seem to go so well after she said of Puerto Ricans, “You people know how to party!”
Tampa may have improved Romney’s lot, however. At a NALEO breakfast in Charlotte Tuesday, leaders of the Hispanic elected official group pointed to Latino Decisions polling of Hispanic voters that showed the GOP convention — which featured many Hispanic Republicans speaking in Spanish — giving Romney a slight bump, from 26 percent to 30 percent support.
But the Latino Decisions poll also showed how bad things are for Republicans among the Hispanic electorate. Just 17 percent of survey respondents said the GOP is doing a “good job” of reaching out to Hispanic voters and 72% said “the Republican party either ‘doesn’t care’ or is ‘being hostile’ towards Hispanics.”