President Obama was clear and on the record throughout his presidency. He told the American people in over 20 speeches that as a Lawyer and as a Constitutional Professor he was not legally able to extend an Executive Order to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation proceedings.  That was right up until the November 4th 2014 election that decimated any power he had in Congress.

When the tally was counted it was evident that Republicans had swept the country, winning with a resounding victory to strengthen control of the House of Representatives and overtaking Democrats in control of the Senate. 

Exactly 15 days after the election President Obama stood in the purple-Latino powered state of Nevada, surrounded by Latinos from all the corners of the country.  President Obama announced on national television that after consulting with key cabinet members, he suddenly arrived to the realization that he could indeed extend an Executive Order to provide selective enforcement powers to his Federal Law Enforcement agencies.  In the process waking up the dormant Latino community from a deep apathetic sleep, mainly to some cheers and also immediate concerns.

Issuing the Executive Order ignited a head to head heated political hot potato that is now in the hands of the Supreme Court.

This week the Supreme Court announced that they will rule on President Obama’s executive power authority with an expected final ruling on or about the month of June. If the 2016 national elections were not unpredictable and pivotal enough, there is a general consensus that regardless on how the court rules Spanish language television and other media will carry day and night coverage on every possible decision ramification.  Ensuring that Latino voters will be highly tuned in to the nuances of the expected court ruling and looking to find who to blame or crown hero by the time they go to the polls.

One thing is certain, political strategists in contests where the Latino vote can win or lose an election will have to recalculate their strategies to ensure their candidate or cause is debated to include this demographic.  The message to them must be thoughtful and innovative, as this November Latinos will go to the polls in record numbers.

Also adding a strategist’s challenge, a new report by the Pew Hispanic illustrates how the Latino voter today is more educated on the issues and more thoughtful on the candidates they support.   As such, they are exceptionally critical of old strategies that fueled them to the polls with punitive hateful messaging.  These same failed strategies are the ones that kept them at home in this last election cycle.

Millennials will also be impactful this election, specifically Latino Millennials who make up almost half of Latino voters eligible to vote.  They are often off the grid and use new communication tools to consume news and form opinions.  Finding strategies to tune into their sensibilities, deliver impactful messaging and messuring results will require a commitment to making them part of all election calculations.

President Obama made his political calculations when he announced his Executive Order, this November 8t.h. We will see if the flip-flop was worth gambling his Latino Presidential legacy.