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Polls Show GOP Latino Deficit Growing During Shutdown; Party Must Deliver on Immigration Reform

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A range of recent polling from NBC/Wall Street Journal, Washington Post/ABC News, and Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that the Republican brand image continues to plummet, sinking among nearly all demographic groups of voters including Latinos (75% of Latinos now disapprove of the Republican Party’s handling of budget talks in Congress per the Washington Post/ABC News poll).

The GOP could ill-afford to do “worse” among Latinos in 2014 and 2016, and the Party’s current antics on fiscal issues is making it all the more imperative that they deliver on immigration reform.  In fact, immigration is one of the few remaining issues that is capable of achieving a bipartisan legislative breakthrough this year.  The votes already exist in the House to pass immigration reform.

Recent PPP polling found that Republicans’ strategy on fiscal/debt limit issues is imperiling them in key battleground districts, with potentially fatal implications for 2014.  According to the write-up of recent PPP/Moveon.org polling, Republicans are in “serious danger in 29 out of the 36” House districts they polled over the past few weeks.  In 29 districts where PPP polling found a Democratic challenger leading the Republican House incumbent (either before or after the description of the shutdown was introduced into the question battery), 17 are also considered “Latino Influence” seats by Latino Decisions: districts with sizable Latino populations where the GOP incumbent will likely face a tough re-election.  The PPP polls include 8 of 14 Latino Decisions “tier 1” districts – Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Gary Miller (R-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Steve Southerland (R-FL) and Daniel Webster (R-FL).

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, commented:

When it comes to Latino outreach, Republicans are their own worst enemies.  Their performance during the shutdown has taken their approval ratings from bad to worse among this key group of voters.  One can only hope that their survival instinct eventually kicks in.