2:48pm June 7, 2013

Latino Voters Judge Obama, Congress Primarily by Immigration Stance


A Latino Decisions poll found that immigration is the lens through which Latino voters gauge their support for the president, as well as representatives in Congress. This attitude spanned income brackets, national origin, political preference and education level.

The survey of Latino registered voters conducted from May 25 to June 1 found that 80% of Latino voters are following the immigration reform debate and 78% of them said it was either “extremely” or “very” important for a bill with a path to citizenship this year.

This is a particularly salient issue for both parties, given that the poll also noted that Latino voters could determine the outcome in more than 30 congressional districts in 2014, as well as senatorial and gubernatorial races in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

And, because the poll found Latino voters more likely to vote for a candidate if they “took the lead” in passing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, it behooves all politicos to pay attention. While voters surveyed were 45% more likely to vote for a Republican who helped pass reform, this number jumped to 63% for Democrats.

If we recall for a moment that Latinos overwhelmingly favor Democratic candidates, and note that the Latino Decisions poll also found that a vas majority reject a “border security first” approach being pushed by Republican politicians, this poll would place the opportunity squarely in the Democrats’ camp.

“Latino voters uniformly reject the notion of a ‘border-security-first’ approach with 81% saying a path to citizenship and border security should happen simultaneously,” according to the survey.

Only 13% of those surveyed wanted to pursue an enforcement first approach.

Another interesting factoid about the poll is that Latinos endorsed immigration reform with a path to citizenship across the board. This included 76% of those who previously voted for a GOP candidate, 66% of Republicans, 78% of non-Mexican Latinos, 85% of those who made more than $80,000 a year, 81% of U.S.-born Latinos, 83% of those who’d earned a college degree and 83% of those aged 51 to 69 years old.

Ultimately, the poll illustrated that, “all major actors in the immigration debate stand to gain or lose, based on their positioning on the current immigration bill.” Read the report in its entirety here.

About the Author

Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón is a journalist and writer bouncing between California and Texas.



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One Comment

  1. [...] Capitol in the next few weeks to see how the GOP maneuvers itself in the immigration debate. Given recent polling that shows Latino voters will judge Congress based on its support of a bill that incl…, the Republicans are in a position to determine the extent that they can appeal to Latino voters in [...]

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