tags: Press Releases

New Report: Immigrant and Latino Voters Could Prove Decisive in the 2008 Election

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Analysis Examines turnout projections, implications for battleground states, and importance of immigration reform as a threshold issue

Accompanying video encourages these voters to make  their voices heard in November

Today, America’s Voice released a new paper, The Power of the Immigrant and Latino Vote in the 2008 Election.”  The group’s analysis highlights the impact Latino voters are likely to have on the Presidential election and key House and Senate races in 2008. 

While Latinos care about a number of issues, recent polling indicates that a candidate’s stance on immigration reform remains a defining issue for many.  As the immigration debate has heated up these last few years, it has become not just a matter of how many visas we give out, but whether Latino workers and families are respected for their contributions and given an equal shot at the American Dream.  

“Our analysis shows that Latino and immigrant electorate is growing, is highly mobilized, and is strongly influenced by the immigration debate,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.   “In fact, during the run up to the election, with its 24/7 focus on white working class voters, this may turn out to the greatest story never told.  Clearly, both campaigns get how important these voters are, and how important immigration is as an issue.  This is why they are slugging it out in Spanish language ad wars in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida over which candidate is more strongly in favor or comprehensive immigration reform.”

In addition, the paper compares recent polling and projections with an analysis of how the Latino vote influenced the election of 2000 and 2004.  According to Sharry, “in 2004, Latino voters, especially Latino immigrant voters, helped President Bush get re-elected.  Bush won 48% of the Spanish-dominant vote, which pushed his overall Latino support from 35% in 2000 up to 40% in 2004.  This swing towards Bush, which was aided by his strong support for comprehensive immigration reform, helped him win Florida and the southwestern states.  The question this year is which way these voters will break.” 

Recent polling indicates that Senator Barack Obama has a significant lead over Senator John McCain at this stage.  But with three weeks remaining in the campaign, and a sizable number of undecided Latino and immigrant voters, only the final results will tell the story.

Along with the paper, America’s Voice also released an accompanying video that speaks to the power of the Latino vote this election.  Mentioning numbers of 9.5 million Latino voters expected to turn out in November, the video criticizes attempts to silence these voices through voter suppression tactics.  To view the entire analysis and the video go to http://www.americasvoiceonline.org/page/content/powerofthevote.

As the Washington Post recently reported, voter registrations amongst immigrants and Latinos are growing significantly.  And the Politico noted that several groups are working on turning out the Latino vote.  Furthermore, surveys of Asian Americans are showing that it is not just Latino immigrants that are becoming engaged in the electoral process.

“Latino and immigrant voters have arrived,” “said Sharry. “These voters have a real stake in this country, and their votes will matter in November. 

  America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.