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Last month, Latino Decisions and America’s Voice released polling of Latino voters in five battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.
On Friday, July 13th, President Obama campaigned in Virginia. Univision’s Jordan Fabian noticed the President’s stump speech included language on immigration:
President Obama briefly departed from his usual stump speech in Virginia Beach, Va. on Friday to throw in an attack line against his GOP rival Mitt Romney on immigration.
“Mitt Romney says that undocumented workers in this country should self-deport,” said the president. “My belief is that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants and I want to make sure that we get comprehensive immigration reform that gives young people who have been raised here a chance to live out their own American Dream.”
Fabian explains why Obama added the immigration issue to his stump speech, which also explains why Virginia is one of the states we’re polling this year:
Obama’s didn’t bring up the topic of immigration during his bus tour through the Rust Belt state of Ohio last week. So why did he dredge it up in Virginia, a swing state that is shaping up to be just as competitive as Ohio?
It’s no secret that Obama’s political barbs on immigration are meant to be aimed at Latino voters. And Virginia’s Latino population has boomed over the last decade. The burgeoning number of Latino voters in Virginia four years ago helped Obama become the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1964. And Obama will need their support again to win the state.
Over the last ten years, the Latino population in Virginia almost doubled and Latinos now make up 8 percent of the state’s overall population, according to Census data. Two years ago there were 183,000 eligible Latino voters in the stateand many of them have personally dealt with the nation’s immigration system; 36 percent are naturalized citizens, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, with many immigrants coming from El Salvador and Mexico.
That’s why Univision’s subtitle, “Obama’s chances of winning Virginia again could hinge on Latino turnout,” is accurate.
And, check out the Latino Vote Map, which allows you to simulate Latino turnout and vote choice in the 2012 Presidential election