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Latino Voters Care and Are Watching Where Candidates Stand on the Issue
Other Voters have Other Priorities, But Do Support Common Sense Reform
Washington, DC – A new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Telemundo poll of both Latinos and general voters confirms two fundamental truths about the politics of immigration: 1) Latino voters see this issue as very important; 2) other voters are far less focused on it, but far more open to practical solutions that some politicians believe.
When Latino voters were asked “Using a short phrase or sentence, if you could tell the candidates running for president one thing, what would you tell them” in an open-ended question, “immigration reform” was the second most popular response, coming in just below “fix the economy.” When asked whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would do a better job “dealing with immigration,” 55% said Obama and only 16% chose Romney.
While this poll confirms once again that immigration is not the top issue for non-Latinos, overall voters are far more pragmatic on it then anti-immigration activists claim. On the same open-ended question, immigration reform ranked third from the bottom for general voters, and on the question about would do a better job dealing with immigration, 38% of non-Latinos said Obama, while 36% said Romney.
These findings are wholly consistent with other recent polling:
In fact, in polls that ask about voter support for different immigration reform options, the Obama-backed policy wins a majority of voters every time. Pew Research Center polls show that strong majorities of Americans have supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants–either alone or combined with enforcement—for years, and that citizenship fares far better than enforcement alone. When asked specifically about the new Obama DREAMer policy, voters (including independents) are also supportive, as evidenced by a Qunnipiac poll taken soon after the President’s announcement, as well as others.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice, “This is the new paradigm of immigration politics. President Obama continues to poll well with Latino voters because he’s leaning into the issue. Mitt Romney, tethered so far to the right, trails far behind him, and independents continue to show that they support pragmatic solutions but aren’t particularly motivated one way or the other by the issue. Because of his restrictionist immigration policies and dismal Latino numbers, Romney has a lot of work to do if he wants to emerge victorious in November. When it comes to immigration, he chose the wrong segment of the Republican Party to cozy up to in the primary, and it’s clearly hurting him in the general election.”
· NEW America’s Voice Analysis: The New Immigration Paradigm
· July 23rd Poll Release: Implications of the SB1070 Supreme Court decision on the 2012 election
· July 19th Poll Release: Latinos React to SB 1070 Ruling
· July 17th Poll Release: After SB1070 decision, Obama widens lead over Romney among Latinos
· June 2012 Five State Battleground Poll
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.