According to University of Notre Dame theologian and historian Timothy Matovina, “bold proclamations about Latino voters determining presidential elections have become a regular feature of political commentary.” Matovina, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the author of a recent history titled Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church. “In fact,” he says, “the electoral significance of Latinos is growing steadily, but not as exponentially as such commentaries suggest.”
Even with the endorsements of three Latinos with strong name recognition in the Latino community, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney could alienate a good portion of Latino voters in Florida with his hardline position on immigration, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Ricardo Ramírez.
Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. A new book by Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.