America's Voice En Español »
Today, at a live streamed panel at the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Science’s Gallery, Washington, DC and Florida-based political analysts, immigrant advocates, and community leaders discussed the politics of immigration and the Latino vote and assessed how Latino voters and the immigration issue will shape the Presidential, Senate and House races in Florida and beyond. There, University of Miami Professor Casey Klofstad released fresh polling of Latino voters in Florida, conducted by Latino Decisions for America’s Voice.
This comes on the heels of a stunning statement on immigration policy from the Romney campaign. After first declaring that a President Romney would not revoke work permits granted to DREAMers under the new Obama initiative, the Romney campaign later clarified that he would, in fact, end the program for future applicants.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This poll shows that, once and for all, the old conventional wisdom on immigration politics is dead. Political strategists used to say that supporting common sense immigration reforms would alienate swing voters and that Latinos didn’t vote in strong enough numbers to compensate. But in Florida, that couldn’t be less true. President Obama’s deferred action announcement was good policy and this poll shows it was also good politics. He has energized Latino voters, while Governor Romney has now declared he will end this widely popular policy. Mitt Romney and Florida’s Republican candidates are taking these far right positions at their own peril.”
In key swing states like Florida and at the national level, Latino and new citizen voters are changing politics. While they care about the same issues as all Americans, they have a unique and personal connection to the immigration debate that shapes their political views. Today’spoll release shows exactly that.
Said Gary Segura, Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, “The Latino vote has grown and become much more diverse in Florida, and there is no doubt that Latino voters will decide how Florida breaks in the Presidential and U.S. Senate elections in 2012. Candidates need to engage and mobilize the Latino vote if they want to win Florida.”
Among the poll’s findings:
Florida Latinos Favor Democrats by Wide Margins
Florida Candidates’ Immigration Positions Matter to Latinos
Immigration Debate at the National Level is Still Very Important
Florida’s Voter ID Law Weighs Heavy on the Minds of Latino Voters
When asked, “how concerned are you that people who are eligible to vote will be removed and block from voting?” 45% of respondents said “very concerned” and 24% said “somewhat concerned.”