Politics

Poll: Latino Support for Obama Strong, Immigration Still Important

July 26, 2012, 12:32 p.m.

While Latino voters care about a vari­ety of is­sues, in­clud­ing the eco­nomy, health care, and edu­ca­tion, this group also is likely to say that im­mig­ra­tion is a top polit­ic­al pri­or­ity for the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent poll.

Re­gistered Latino voters were asked what is­sues they would most like both pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates to ad­dress, and im­mig­ra­tion re­form was the second most pop­u­lar re­sponse, fol­low­ing the eco­nomy, ac­cord­ing to an NBC News/Telemundo/Wall Street Journ­al poll re­leased on Tues­day.

While the poll did not break down the Latino sub­groups, the trend likely re­flects the fact that among the three largest Latino sub­groups in the U.S. (Pu­erto Ric­an, Cuban, and Mex­ic­an), at least one is touched by im­mig­ra­tion, either leg­al or un­au­thor­ized. Oth­er Latino groups im­pacted by im­mig­ra­tion have grown sig­ni­fic­antly in the coun­try. A Pew His­pan­ic Cen­ter study ex­amin­ing 2010 census data, for in­stance, found that the Domin­ic­an pop­u­la­tion grew by 85 per­cent and Guatem­alan by 180 per­cent since 2000.

Oth­er polls have shown that Lati­nos, in­clud­ing those who are U.S.-born, care about some im­mig­ra­tion policies be­cause they be­lieve they will im­pact them dir­ectly.

(Re­lated Na­tion­al Journ­al story: Poll: Lati­nos Fear Ari­zona Law Spurs Ra­cial Pro­fil­ing)

The new sur­vey in­ter­viewed 300 Latino re­gistered voters between Ju­ly 18 and 22. The mar­gin of er­ror was plus or minus 5.66 per­cent­age points.

About 67 per­cent of those sur­veyed said they would vote for Pres­id­ent Obama, while 23 per­cent said they would vote for Mitt Rom­ney.

Frank Sharry, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of Amer­ica’s Voice, an im­mig­rant-rights group, said in a state­ment: “Mitt Rom­ney, tethered so far to the right, trails far be­hind [Obama], and in­de­pend­ents con­tin­ue to show that they sup­port prag­mat­ic (im­mig­ra­tion) solu­tions but aren’t par­tic­u­larly mo­tiv­ated one way or the oth­er by the is­sue. Be­cause of his re­stric­tion­ist im­mig­ra­tion policies and dis­mal Latino num­bers, Rom­ney has a lot of work to do if he wants to emerge vic­tori­ous in Novem­ber.”

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