DENVER - The Republican Party is expanding its Hispanic outreach in the U.S. Southwest, hoping to capitalize on the popularity of its two Hispanic governors in the region and win back a part of the country that has been trending Democratic.
The party is hiring six new staffers to work with Hispanic voters in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. On the presidential level, three of those four states have shifted solidly into Democrats' column since 2004, fueled partly by Hispanic voters angered by some Republican politicians' stance on immigration.
The outreach effort is part of the Republican National Committee's effort to combat that drift and expand the party beyond its mostly white base by engaging with minority communities. The party has been reaching out to Hispanic voters after they played a key role in President Barack Obama's win in 2012.
Some Republicans are particularly optimistic about the Southwest because the region boasts the nation's only two Hispanic governors, both popular Republicans — Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada.
The hires bring the number of states in which Republicans have paid staffers reaching out to Hispanics to 10.
"Long-term, face-to-face contact between voters and volunteers from the same community is the best way to inform and motivate Hispanics voters to get to the polls," Sandoval said.
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