The Count Down Begins To November 2016

US-presidential-election-democrats
Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (R) on stage with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd L) prior to the Battle Born/Battleground First in the West Caucus Dinner at the MGM Grand January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three candidates continue to campaign prior to the Nevada Democratic caucus, which will take place on February 20, 2016. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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US-presidential-election-democrats
Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (R) on stage with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd L) prior to the Battle Born/Battleground First in the West Caucus Dinner at the MGM Grand January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three candidates continue to campaign prior to the Nevada Democratic caucus, which will take place on February 20, 2016. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 8, 2016: The countdown is now officially on to November 8, 2016 – the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. In 309 days, U.S. voters will go to the poll to elect the replacement to President Barack Obama.

The countdown begins as two recent polls show President Obama’s job approval ratings on a downward spiral. Only 45 percent of those polls say they approve of the job he is doing according to both Gallup and the Rasmussen Report.

Now the question some political pundits are toying with is – despite the clown show on the right – whether these low ratings will rub off on the next Democratic contender?

At stake in this election is of course the Hispanic/immigrant voting bloc who will play a serious part in who wins or loses in November. They are undoubtedly the swing voters in this election. Both sides need them but with the right wing demagoguery being pushed by the leading Republican Presidential contenders, the immigrant votes seemed like a shoo-in for Democrats this year.

But the Obama administration’s New Year’s decision to round up and deport Central American immigrants who crossed the borders illegally into the U.S. now is a threat to what seemed like a sure thing!

Despite the promises of President Obama on immigration reform, he has delivered very little and the latest moves by his U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief to target Central American families with deportation orders will meet with more disapproval and could play a part in whether the immigrant bloc shows up for Team Blue or stay home in disgust come November.

Worst of all, the timing of the raids coincides with Donald Trump’s ‘Neo Nazi’ ad that promotes exactly what he has said on the campaign trail and on social media:  “a ban on Muslim immigration and a wall along the border with Mexico.”  It includes images of the San Bernardino, Calif., attackers and what appear to be throngs of Mexicans running toward a border barrier.

So are we to conclude that both sides care naught about immigrants or that President Obama is so caught up in pleasing the right that he feels the need to deport more immigrants now merely to show his critics he is being tough on their scapegoats?

It is a dumb political move from the administration – now with just months to go in the term. Targeting a base of voters that the Democratic Party certainly needs is certainly brainless.

Hopefully, Hillary Clinton, the Team Blue front runner who continues to lead The Donald in the polls, will speak out against this latest Obama administration misstep, distance herself from the move and continue to speak up for immigrants and immigration reform in order to keep the immigrant voting bloc enthused and excited to vote come November 8, 2016!

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The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.