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Lynn Sweet: Obama's Delay Could Hurt Democrats in Illinois

 

The consensus is that President Obama has delayed taking executive action on immigration because of political concerns — namely, to protect Senate Democrats facing tough reelection campaigns this fall.  But Latino voters are a kingmaking demographic, and 2014 is no exception.  A Latino Decisions poll found that without executive action, 57% of Latino voters will be less enthused about voting in November, which could have major consequences for Democrats in Colorado and Illinois.  Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times has more:

While Democrats worried about losing control of the Senate urged President Barack Obama to hold off on taking action on immigration until after the November elections, in Illinois, Obama’s decision will just make it more difficult for Democrats in tough battles, especially Gov. Pat Quinn, Rep. Bill Foster and Rep. Brad Schneider.

At issue is the possibility that the Hispanic vote in Illinois — a key component of the Democratic base — will be suppressed as a result of Obama going back on his promise to take executive actions on immigration by the end of the summer.

The campaigns of Quinn, Foster and Schneider now will have to work harder to get the Hispanic support they had been calculating they would receive.

When it comes to turning out the Hispanic vote in November, “This certainly won’t help,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

The group, officially nonpartisan, conducts voter registration and get-out-the vote drives that, for practical matters, benefit Democrats in Illinois far more than Republicans.

Benito said his organization is “angry and feels betrayed” over Obama’s decision to delay action on immigration and it “does not help our efforts to say your vote matters.”

[As] Gutierrez said during a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week”:

“Look, they’ve looked at polling in four or five states where there aren’t large Latino constituencies and said that’s the way forward without thinking of the impact that policy might have in Illinois, in California and Colorado,” he said. “And so they’ve walked away”…

Josh Hoyt, the executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, knows the Illinois political turf. He said “the broken promises of President Obama have become an incredibly effective Latino voter suppression machine. President Obama caved in to the fears of Senate Democrats about losing in Arkansas and North Carolina but they better start worrying about what the effect will be on Gov. Quinn, Cong. Foster and Cong. Schneider.”