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Romney's New Year's Resolution: Veto the DREAM Act

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In case you missed, it over the holiday weekend, Mitt Romney told Iowa caucus voters that he would veto the DREAM Act if elected president. We all knew Romney was running to the far right on immigration in Iowa, but this was his most definitive stance to date.

Here’s the video:

Romney’s statement on New Year’s Eve set off a firestorm online. Matt Viser of the Boston Globe first broke the story, but within minutes everyone from David Axelrod to Ben Smith tweeted about it.  His comments were also widely reported in Spanish media and put the nail in the coffin of any hope Romney may have had of competing for Latino voters in the general election.

Polling from impreMedia and Latino Decisions in February 2011 found that 85% of Latino voters across the political spectrum support the DREAM Act.  Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions wrote:

Looking to 2012, it is clear that immigration and the DREAM Act will still be on the minds of Latino voters…We broke out support for the DREAM Act by intended vote choice in 2012 and found regardless of how Latinos will vote, a very strong majority support the DREAM Act. Among Obama voters, 79% strongly support and 14% somewhat support the DREAM Act – that’s 93% support for seeing this bill passed among the President’s Latino base. Further, among those who say they are undecided 62% strongly support DREAM with 23% somewhat support, all told 85% in favor.  Even among those who plan to vote for a GOP candidate in 2012, Republican contenders should take note, that Republican leaning Latinos also supported the DREAM Act by a big margin: 52% strongly support and 23% somewhat support, totaling to 75% approval of the bill.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, provided our perspective:

Romney will find it virtually impossible to reach the 40% threshold among Latino voters that Republican candidates need to win the White House.  This will make it much more difficult for Romney to be competitive in the key swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.