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Growing Latino Vote in Ohio Breaks Overwhelmingly for Obama and Brown
The 2012 elections demonstrated that Latino and new citizen voters are changing politics around the country and in states like Ohio, where their size and influence is growing. Newly-released election-eve polling from impreMedia and Latino Decisions – which surveyed Latino voters nationally and in eleven states, including Ohio – shows how the candidates’ positions on immigration and other top issues moved Latino voters and influenced the election results.
In Ohio, the new polling shows Latino voters supported Obama over Romney by a lopsided 82% to 17%, for a net contribution of 1.0 percentage points to Obama (based on Latino Decisions’ estimate that Latinos comprised 1.5% of the Ohio electorate). Latinos were similarly influential in the closely-contested Senate race, in which they supported Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown over Republican challenger Josh Mandel by a margin of 80% to 20%, helping ensure Brown’s victory and keep the Senate in Democratic hands.
Almost one-third of Ohio’s Latinos (31%) listed immigration reform and the DREAM Act as a top issue facing Latinos that politicians should address. Nearly half (47%) said that President Obama’s recent announcement halting the deportation of immigrant youth and allowing them to apply for work permits made them more enthusiastic about voting for him. By contrast, 62% said that Mitt Romney’s campaign platform of “self-deportation” and his promise to stop approving DREAMers’ relief applications if elected made them less enthusiastic about his candidacy.
Latino Decisions’ Ohio numbers show significantly larger support for President Obama than the National Exit Poll, which estimated that only 54% of Ohio Latinos voted for Obama — giving him a margin only half as large as John Kerry’s among Ohio Latinos in 2004. In 2008, the National Exit Poll did not get a large or representative enough sample of Ohio Latinos to report any estimates at all of who they voted for. By contrast, Latino Decisions has been called the “gold standard” of Latino voter polling, using highly sophisticated methods to identify Latino voters who are extremely likely to vote and ensure a representative sample. In 2010, Latino Decisions’ election-eve poll came within a few percentage points of actual precinct returns in every state it polled. More information on the methods used by Latino Decisions to complete the 2012 election eve survey is available here.
According to Richard Romero, a businessman and community leader in Lorain: “In Ohio, Latinos knew that we need to make our voices heard. All that anti-immigrant talk made us feel that the Republican Party did not respect us. We, the Latino community, took this election into our own hands. We worked together to make sure we got out the vote.”
Hugo Urizar, from Cleveland, is another business leader who is active in politics. He said: “Most Hispanics I talked to are very scared of the extreme right-wing policies of certain sectors of the Republican Party. But, they also don’t want the Democratic Party to take them for granted.”
“While Ohio has fewer Latino voters than, say, Nevada, they were a crucial part of Obama’s win this year. If the Republican Party intends to remain viable in future elections, it must change its stance and tone on immigration reform,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund and a Cleveland-area resident.
Among the poll’s findings:
Ohio Latinos Influence the Outcomes of National and State Races
Top Issues for Latino Voters
Immigration Isn’t Just Policy, It’s Personal
For the full results from Ohio, other battleground states, and the national poll, click http://dl.dropbox.com/u/44794321/Latino_Election_Eve_Poll_By_state.pdf.