"Latino" is a general term used in the United States to refer to all citizens of the Latin American descent. Hispanics, often confused with Latino, refer to a smaller group of Latino from Spanish-speaking extraction. The US government identifies Latino people as citizens whose origin can be traced back to Brazil, Mexico, Cuba and other countries South American practicing Spanish culture.
In the 2012 US Elections, Latinos were imperative to President Obama's re-election. With the Latino group being ten percent of the total US population, Obama received a near-record seventy-one percent over Romney's twenty-seven ("Latino Vote a Landslide for Obama", 2012). Most of this support for the president came from the female Latino voters across all the age groups. President Obama won in most states where Latino formed the majority of the population. These states include Florida, New Mexico and Colorado. Latino decided to vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate because they could identify with his immigration policies and commitment to enact them amidst opposition in his previous term. Particularly, these voters were annoyed by Romney's previous stance on the Dream Act, which sought to offer assistance to undocumented young immigrants (Filey, 2012). Efforts to correct this mistake would not convince voters who had already decided to vote for Obama. Other issues that helped decide voting among this group were jobs and economic policies. These issues actually bore more weight that immigration (Filey, 2012).
In the next general elections, the issues that will likely determine voting patterns include immigration, abortion, health care policies, foreign policy, economy, and jobs. Immigration remains a pertinent matter in any election due to the increasing number of immigrants of Asian and Hispanic origin (Guide to U.S. elections, 2010). As a result, these immigrants are almost certain to back candidates who will show intent towards making their life easy. Abortion, on the other hand, is considered a "choice issue" that continues to elicit controversy in the political domain. With conservatives and religious leaders refuting contraception use, more and more people continue to push for Planned Parenthood (Filey, 2012). Candidates will want to take a stand in the future that does not harm either of these sides or still provide middle ground policies on abortion. With the cases of deadly diseases, like cancer rising, Americans anticipate candidates to offer affordable health care plans. Jobs and economy will always be the key determinants as well. The issues of taxation, government spending, sweeping cuts and other economic issues will be used by American voters to decide their favorite candidates. Job creation will probably be given more weight by the young graduates seeking jobs. This portion of the electorate remains high. As a result, it is critical that candidates come up with concrete and realistic policies that create jobs for everyone. America remains under a constant threat from terrorists. Citizens will expect greater commitment and firmness on the fight against terrorism. Although going to war may not always be a solution, it is imperative that candidates sent a strong message that America remains fearless. Every citizen will want to feel safe within and outside the country (Guide to U.S. elections, 2010).
The US electoral demographics are changing rapidly with more changes expected by the 2016 general elections. For example, non-whites, including Latino, have shown a growing trend over time. In 2012 general elections, they made twenty-eight percent compared to twenty percent during the 2000 elections ("Counting on the Future: Changing Demographics", 2005). It means that whites will be challenged in deciding general elections. Women and young voters are expected to come out strongly to assess the suitability of candidates. This comes with the increasing trend that shows improved participation in national elections by women and young voters. Apparently, a broader demographic composition will effectively bring about a broader spectrum of issues to consider when judging candidates.