lunes, 30 de julio de 2012

Romney visita Polonia pensando en el voto polaco-americano


The states that hold the largest communities of Polish-American voters overlap significantly with this year's swing states. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio all are home to numerous voters who trace their heritage to Poland, according to John Kromkowski, a Catholic University professor who studies urban and ethnic politics.

“They’re not only in swing states, but over the decades that I’ve been tracking this, they’re also swing voters,” he said. “It's sort of a mixed population, so it’s an almost archetypal swing vote.”

Kromkowski noted that many Polish-Americans live in communities that are concerned about outsourcing. While Romney will talk about economics in Poland, his team has said, outsourcing is an area in which he has been vulnerable to the Obama campaign's attacks.

One issue Romney will likely have to address to get the attention -- and votes -- of Polish-Americans is to promise to help Poland become a member of the visa waiver program, which is important for voters who still have family in Europe. President Obama offered his support for legislation to do just that during his own trip to the country in 2011.

“Unless Romney comes out very hard and says flat out that, ‘The day that I become president, we’re moving Poland into the visa waiver program,’ he’s going seem a little flat,” said John Micgiel, executive director of Columbia University’s East Central European Center.

(...) Along with the Polish vote, Romney hopes to woo Catholic voters who may appreciate his visit to a country in which the church is still enormously important. Since the 1960 election, when Catholics flocked to John F. Kennedy as the first candidate of their faith, the balance between Democrats and Republicans has evened out among the population. Still, Romney’s trip won’t have nearly the same resonance it might have had in the midst of the Cold War.

“In some ways it's an echo of an old Cold War strategy, which is that the Republican Party, going back to the 1950s, made a significant outreach to American Catholics who would have relatives behind the Iron Curtain, including Poland,” Catholic University politics professor John White said of Romney’s trip. “I don’t think that that carries the same weight today, given that that was another world, another time, and a whole other era.”

But this is an election where nibbling at the margins can help, especially after Obama may have alienated some Catholics with an executive order that requires religiously-affiliated organizations to provide their employees with insurance plans that include birth control.
Recordaréis que en las primarias ya le vimos cortejando a los polaco-americanos en Michigan.

Tim Pawlenty puede serle de utilidad en ese propósito, ya que es de origen polaco.