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Report Roundup: Critical Latino Vote ‘Could Hinge on Immigration Reform Efforts’

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 02/11/2010 at 10:48am

Our latest report, “The Power of the Latino Vote in America: They Tipped Elections in 2008; Where Will they be in 2010?” spotlights Latino voting trends. It identifies 40 battleground races in 11 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia) where Latinos will have an impact this year.

Following are highlights of coverage and analysis from around the blogosphere (all emphasis mine).

David Dayen reports for Firedoglake, in “Latino Vote Could Hinge On Immigration Reform Efforts“:

On a conference call yesterday put together by America’s Voice, immigration reform advocates released a study called “The Power of the Latino Vote,” looking at this constituency and their impact on the 2010 midterms. Despite having swung to Democrats decidedly in 2008, almost single-handedly giving Nevada, Colorado and Florida to Barack Obama over John McCain, a substantial portion of the Latino electorate, foreign-born but naturalized US citizens, has shown the propensity to switch parties from election to election.

And a failure to move on immigration reform, seen as a key issue to this constituency, will have consequences in November, according to the study. While this is not the most crucial issue facing the Latino electorate – as the SEIU’s Eliseo Medina said on the conference call, Latino voters want politicians who “care about working people and not hedge fund pirates and corporate CEOs” – it is a “litmus test” in the community in terms of paying attention to and respecting their concerns. “Latinos are becoming more engaged with every election cycle, and they will not stand for being ignored or attacked,” Medina said. […]

[… C]learly, the President made promises both on the campaign trail and in the White House about fixing the broken immigration system, and these hopes have raised Latino turnout in the past (by close to 54% between 2000 and 2008). Ignoring those promises would have detrimental effects on future elections. Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza said on the call, “The President made a promise to the Latino community, and we haven’t forgotten… If it doesn’t happen, there’s no question it will affect Latino turnout. There will be a huge sense of disappointment.”

Marisa Treviño of Latina Lista writes, in “New study on Latino voters shows the key to reaching many Latinos lies in the language of engagement:”

If one thing is clear from a new report released today by America’s Voice entitled The Power of the Latino Vote in America: They Tipped Elections in 2008; Where Will They Be in 2010? it’s that no political party should underestimate the power of the Latino vote.

The study points to the fact that in precincts across the country Latino voters are poised to be the swing voters many candidates will need to land in office.

Though the study shows that Latino voters trend Democratic, there’s no guarantee that it will remain so, especially if the Democratic party fails to honor campaign promises made to the Latino community.

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