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Last weekend at the Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island, our panel on the Latino vote unveiled new tools to evaluate the impact Latino voters will have on the general election in November. They include a new website for political analysis and an interactive voter map created by Latino Decisions and our sister organization, America’s Voice Education Fund.
As America’s Voice has documented, both margin and mobilization are key factors in gauging the impact of the Latino vote. Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush highlighted how margin is the critical challenge for Republicans trying to woo Latino voters. At a breakfast sponsored by Bloomberg View in New York, former Governor Bush spoke of Mitt Romney’s difficulty courting this demographic, saying “There is work to do…I’d say that, if an objective teacher was grading where we are right now, I’d say ‘needs improvement’ – hopefully not an unfinished grade.” According to a recap of Bush’s remarks by Bloomberg News, Bush linked the poor polling to Romney’s hardline immigration stance, noting:
The Republican Party’s primary elections, in which the candidates’ debate about immigration centered on tougher border control rather than finding a way to accommodate millions of undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., has left the party with a challenge ahead of November’s elections.
Meanwhile, there is growing concern among lawyers, immigrant advocates, and members of the Latino and immigrant communities about the Obama Administration’s failure to properly implement prosecutorial discretion. This–coupled with the Adminstration’s record number of deportations and dramatic expansion of Secure Communities–have left many in the immigrant community disillusioned, which has huge implications for voter turnout in November. CBS News wrote that the record numbers of deportations has complicated President Obama’s message to Latino voters, noting:
Polls show the president with a strong lead over Mitt Romney over Latino voters – an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll from last month found that Mr. Obama led Romney 61 to 27 percent among registered Latino voters nationally. However, just 68 percent of Latino voters expressed high interest in the upcoming election, in comparison to 81 percent of all voters.
With both political parties trying to navigate these real challenges in their effort to reach Latino voters, we encourage you to check out the interactive map created by Latino Decisions and our sister organization, America’s Voice Education Fund. This tool allows you to adjust both margin and mobilization figures to see how various scenarios play out for both parties. In addition, America’s Voice and Latino Decisions have launched a new website focused on Latino and immigration political issues, featuring ongoing commentary and analysis: http://latinovotematters.org.