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Political Insiders Poll

Will the recent developments involving immigration prompt higher Latino turnout in 2012 than in 2008?

DEMOCRATS (100 Votes)

Yes: 85%
No: 15%



“The president’s decision on immigration, and Romney’s refusal to embrace it, puts in stark relief the difference between the two parties. Hispanics get it.”

“What have the Republicans done from a legislative standpoint to help immigrants? That is all you really need to know.”


“While much of the increase will be due to demographics (increasing citizen population), the focus on immigration issues will provide some additional turnout over the level seen in 2008.”

“If history in California is any indication, going back at least as far as 1994, the immigration debate dramatically increases Latino participation in the political process.”

“Latinos are energized. The choice between ‘self-deporting’ versus ‘dreaming’ could not be more stark.”

“The numbers don’t lie. The Latino population will be a force like never before. The fact that little-known and untested Sen. Rubio remains as a possible Romney choice tells you all you need to know.”


“The door is open: The question is whether progressive Hispanic organizations will have the resources on a parallel track to the Obama campaign to run the programs necessary to drive increased registration and turnout.”


“It will be close to 2008 levels, and that’s good enough for Obama to win Colorado, Nevada, and very possibly Florida.”

“I think the Latino vote is pretty locked in for 2012, both in terms of turnout (not as strong as Obama would like) and result (more lopsided than Romney would like).”

“This may not change turnout, but it will solidify a big margin for Obama.”

“Why do we keep thinking Latinos care more about immigration than they do about jobs? They don’t.”


Will the recent developments involving immigration prompt higher Latino turnout in 2012 than in 2008?


Yes: 32%
No: 68%


“This is the best thing to happen to the Obama administration since killing bin Laden.”

“Probably about the same turnout, but that’s no solace for Republicans. Romney’s primary strategy on immigration traded short-term gain for long-term pain.”

“Fear is one of the great motivators of politics, and it won’t take much to convince Latinos that their status in the U.S. is on the line in this election.”

“A major voting bloc that George W. Bush tried to bring into the GOP but which the extremists have callously turned away—for generations.”


“Not appreciably. They aren’t one-issue voters, and they are also feeling the negative effects of the Obama economy.”

“Latinos are disenchanted more so than in 2008; that usually leads to lower turnouts, especially among youths.”

“Latinos are smarter than that. After bragging about extraditing more Latinos than George W. Bush, arguing that Latinos should now turn out for him is too much of a U-turn.”

“I don’t see that level of enthusiasm. And record deportations by this administration make Obama’s fearmongering ring hollow.”

“Just maintaining 2008 enthusiasm would be huge for Obama.”

“Latino turnout was very high in 2008, and immigration reform was a big issue in the summer of 2008. The Supreme Court decision may lessen the intensity.”

“Neither side has made a credible or emotional appeal to Latinos that would produce added interest.”

“It’s hard for it to go much higher than 2008, but nevertheless, this issue is becoming a bigger loser for Republicans.”


How damaging are the “Fast and Furious” proceedings to President Obama?


Very damaging: 2%
Somewhat damaging: 23%
Not damaging: 75%

Somewhat damaging

“One of the Obama administration’s greatest strengths, thus far, has been its relative lack of scandal or misconduct. If this issue gets traction in everyday America (which I’m not sure it will), it would diminish an Obama strength.”

“They are damaging in that they suggest Obama is not on top of agencies within his own government. It is a joke, of course—no president is on top of all agencies within his own government. But the public doesn’t seem to know that, so it hurts Obama.”

“The best part of this horrible story from the Dems’ and president’s perspective is that Rep. Darrell Issa is leading the charge. He has no credibility in California, and that will become apparent, if it isn’t already to the rest of the country, any time now.”

This article appears in the June 30, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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