If you wondering why the Romney/Ryan campaign has gone so medieval in classic, mendacious, and racially-tinged themes aimed transparently at non-educated white voter, maybe the answer is because they’ve painted themselves into a corner with so many other elements of the electorate. That’s certainly the case with Latinos, already a disaster area for Romney but made if possible worse by the selection of Paul Ryan, or so suggest Politico‘s Emily Schultheis and Alexander Burns:

What’s clear is that Romney’s lagging fortunes among Hispanics are unlikely to receive any boost from choosing a vice presidential candidate who has voted in Congress against the DREAM Act and supports overhauling entitlement programs that are extremely popular among Latino voters….

Obama’s commanding lead has not diminished and may be cemented in place. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos framed the Republican dilemma in a tweet after Ryan was announced as Romney’s ticket mate: “?How can [Paul Ryan] attract the Hispanic vote? If Republicans don’t get a third of the Latino vote they won’t get the White House back….”

{Ryan’s] a member of a Republican Congress that many Latinos view as a hostile entity. Latino Decisions found that by a 51-point margin, Latinos oppose cuts to Medicare — an even wider margin than the electorate at large, according to some polls.

He’s even managed to offend the most pro-Republican Latino voting group:

A footnote to his career that could harm him with Cuban-Americans in particular: In 2009, Ryan expressed skepticism about the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, though he has since revised that stance.

Yeah, I bet he has. But it appears to be too little and too late when it comes to helping his ticket with Latino voters.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.