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Powerful Latino Voting Block of 2008 May Stay Home in 2010 Without Reform

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New polling of Latino voters reveals that 1) this group is among the least energized heading into the 2010 elections; and 2) progress on comprehensive immigration reform is key to re-energizing these voters.

Latino Decisions researcher and Stanford University professor Dr. Gary Segura highlighted and analyzed the findings:

Among all the key constituents in the 2008 Obama victory, Latino voters appear to be among the least enthusiastic about voting in the 2010 midterm.

The poll found that just 49% of Latino registered voters who say they are very enthusiastic about voting, an all time low.  In the 2006 mid-terms, 60% of Latinos turned out, and their self-reported enthusiasm prior to the election was 77%.

Dr. Segura’s conclusion? 

For Latinos, there will have to be a genuine attempt on the part of the administration and Democrats in Congress to act on immigration.  Even if it fails, an honest effort (and the inevitable, ugly, GOP response) will help close the yawning enthusiasm gap between Latinos of 2010 and Latinos of 2006.  And should it pass, as it ought to, the rewards will be palpable.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Just as the hope of genuine immigration reform motivated Latino voters to vote for Barack Obama and Democrats in 2008, the lack of hope threatens to keep them at home in the pivotal 2010 elections.  Latino voters may hold the keys to the congressional kingdom through their influence in many key swing races, but leadership on immigration reform will be needed to ensure an enthusiastic and mobilized Latino vote in 2010.