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A Romney-Rubio ticket? Not if Hispanics don't see themselves as Hispanic.

A Romney-Rubio presidential ticket may play well to the notion of a "Hispanic vote." But a Pew poll shows why that idea falls flat.

A Spanish-language version of a Nevada voter registration form is seen in Las Vegas.

Isaac Brekken/AP Photo/file

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As Mitt Romney steadily ties up the GOP nomination, he’s begun to etch-a-sketch his campaign toward winning “the Hispanic vote.” As America’s largest minority, Hispanics are seen as critical to victory in the presidential race.

Only there’s an awkward problem for Mr. Romney. And it’s not just a Hispanic tendency to vote Democratic. A new survey shows only a quarter of Hispanics actually see themselves as Hispanic.

In fact, of the Hispanics born in the United States, about half say they view themselves as simply American, according to a survey by the Pew Hispanic Center. And more than two-thirds of all Hispanics say they do not see a common culture among Hispanics. In the 2010 Census, more than half of Hispanics checked off the box for “white.”

Identity politics in the US may need a big rethink.

A good example of this is current speculation about Romney possibly picking Republican Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate, in large part because of the Floridian’s Cuban-American heritage. That may not be such a wise move.

More than half of Hispanics identify most often with their family’s place of origin, such as Mexico, according to the Pew poll. And many non-Cuban Hispanics resent the special political and immigration status given to Cuban immigrants.


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