Nosotros Vamos a decidir. We will decide. That has been the presidential-election mantra of Latinos all across the U.S. And it's hard to argue with the premise. The numbers alone tell an amazing story. Nearly 10% of all voters in 2012 will be Hispanic, up 26% from four years ago. One of four newborns in America is Latino, and those births now account for more than half of U.S. population growth. Hispanics make up 16% of the population today and will account for close to a third of all Americans in 2050.
One reason Latino voters will decide is that neither party has captured their hearts. Yes, 67% voted Democratic last time, but many are disappointed with President Obama, who has not proposed immigration reform and has dramatically increased deportations. Of course, the Republican candidates have not done themselves any favors by trying to outdo each other with tough-on-illegals positions. But George W. Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote only eight years ago, and Ronald Reagan always used to say Hispanics were Republicans who just didn't know it yet.
For the first time in our history, we have a Spanish sentence as our cover line: Yo decido. I decide. It matches up with the exquisite portraits by Marco Grob, who photographed more than 150 Latinos in Phoenix and who also shot the extraordinary images in our 9/11 special issue. (To see Marco's portraits of Latino voters, go to time.com/latinovote. The cover story was written and reported by our White House correspondent Michael Scherer. Michael has been obsessed with this topic for months, and he spent time on the ground in Phoenix, going door to door with nonpartisan canvassers seeking to sign up Latino voters. He also caught up with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina before flying back to Washington to interview Marco Rubio. (You can find the full text of the Rubio interview online.) We also have a powerful column by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who argues that neither party is doing right by Hispanic Americans. Espero que les guste.
Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR
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