Writing for U.S. News & World Report, Jason Gold explains how the Latinos will influence the future of housing policy:
A “Modern Family” coalition of single women, African-Americans, and progressive young voters who are passionate about hot-button social issues helped propel President Barack Obama to a second term this election. But it was the commanding Hispanic vote—Obama won 71 percent of Latino voters—that truly powered the president’s successful run for re-election.
So what helped drive the Latino turnout in key swing states such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida? While a lot can be credited to anti-immigration stances taken by some GOP candidates in the primaries, the struggling housing market in key states also had an impact: The same swing states (Nevada, Arizona, and Florida) that turned out high Latino votes were also the hardest hit in the housing crisis. Moreover, 28 percent of Latino homeowners surveyed earlier this year were underwater, compared to only 14 percent of the general population.
That might have made a big difference when it came to looking at the differing approaches of the Obama and Romney campaigns. While the Obama administration and congressional Democrats crafted legislation and campaigned on broad refinance bills aimed at helping those same underwater borrowers, Mitt Romney took a more hands-off, market clearing approach, infamously telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal to “Let it [housing market] run its course and hit bottom.”