Nevada GOP Going After Powerful Hispanic Voting Block - 8 News NOW

Nevada GOP Going After Powerful Hispanic Voting Block

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Republicans say President Obama's visit to Nevada was nothing more than a campaign stop. 

Obama used the opportunity to visit with an Hispanic family who lives in a neighborhood that has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.

With Nevada being a key state, Democrats and Republicans are working hard to garner the Latino vote in the 2012 election.

On the same day as Obama's visit, a GOP grassroots organization launched a Spanish language television ad in Nevada opposing the president's latest stimulus package. The ad asks Hispanics to "wake up" and realize the current administration isn't doing enough for them.

"If we are 25 percent of the population in Nevada but only 17 percent of the voters, then we have a lot of work to do to get them to vote more," Tibi Ellis, a Hispanic GOP supporter said.

Ellis is a proud Latino and has always been linked with the GOP. "The Republican party is doing a great job with those efforts, building coalitions and trying to recruit more conservative Latinos and educate them on the issues of the platform of the GOP and their candidates," Ellis said.

The state chair of the GOP, Amy Tarkanian, says this time around, getting the Latino vote is a must.

"We are going to do a really good job at making sure we listen to them. That we reach out to them and help them understand we do share the same values. They want the same thing we want, as well," Tarkanian said.

She says the Nevada Republican party is looking to hire a staff that's main focus is on the needs of Latinos.

"They want better jobs, houses, stuff that's best for their families, for their kids, it's exactly what the GOP represents," Tarkanian said..

Currently in Nevada, there are 100,000 Latinos who are not registered to vote.

"I think they are going to help with the tipping point of many elections," Tarkanian said.

The President's approval rating seems to be slipping among Latinos. Obama won 67 percent of Hispanic voters in 2008 but a recent Gallup poll showed Obama with a 49 percent job approval rating among Hispanics compared to 60 percent in the beginning of 2011.

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