Latino Voters In Election 2012 Help Sweep Obama To Reelection
President Barack Obama won reelection on Tuesday thanks in part to near-record levels of support from Latino voters, who came out in huge numbers to support him over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
An impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll released Tuesday as an alternative to exit polls found Obama had won 75 percent of Latino voters nationwide, while exit polls found him with around 70 percent Latino support, with figures likely to change throughout the night as tallies come in from the West Coast.
The country is becoming more diverse in general, with a growing Latino population and an even faster-growing Asian population. Those demographic changes will spell trouble for the Republican Party if it remains on in its current trajectory, among Latino voters in particular.
In every state polled by impreMedia and Latino Decisions, immigration was a major factor in the decision-making process. Most Latino voters support the president’s policies on the issue, even if he has not succeeded in enacting many of them.
The Dream Act, a bill to help undocumented young people, has support from a strong majority of Latino voters, and many said they became more enthusiastic about the president after his June announcement he would no longer deport some young undocumented immigrants who fit the same general requirements.
“Republicans are going to have to have a real serious conversation with themselves,” said Eliseo Medina, an immigration reform advocate and secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. “They need to repair their relationship with our community. … They can wave goodbye to us if they don’t get right with Latinos.
There are plenty of people on the GOP side who have urged a softer tone on immigration, but it didn’t seem to sink in with the Romney campaign until after the primary. In the final months of the campaign, he pitched his desire to find a solution for undocumented young people already in the country and advocated a broad fix for immigration problems.
Too little, too late, said Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which organized Latinos and other immigrants to vote for the president this year.
“Romney during the primaries put himself into a corner,” he said. “He went to the right of everyone in the Republican field, even respected conservatives, and the Latino and the immigrant community was not fooled.”