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Latino Voter Enthusiasm Increases; California Voters (Still) Support Reform

October 28, 2010 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

Latino enthusiasm

Source: Latino Decisions. Latinos who said they were "very enthusiastic"
about voting in the upcoming election.


It’s less than a week away from the election, and one of the big dramas of this election season has been whether or not Latinos will turn out to vote in great numbers.


Latino Decisions conducts weekly tracking polls of Latinos voters.  In their posting from October 25, they report that,


“[a]s election day draws near, and early voting is in full swing, Latinos are reportedly showing more and more interest and enthusiasm.”


According to their data, “[f]our weeks ago just 40.3% of Latinos said they were very enthusiastic [about voting], and today that figures reaches 58.3%.”


Ironically, a voter suppression ad campaign by a group tied to the Republican Party appears to have backfired.  As Latino Decisions notes,


“In response to the “don’t vote” campaign, Univision and Telemundo are both increasing their get-out-the-vote public service announcements, and Latino civic groups such as NALEO, NCLR, Mi Familia Vota and others are doubling their efforts to mobilize Latino voters down the stretch.”


However, Latinos in the group called the “surge” voters, who voted for the first time in 2008 and helped put President Obama in office, appear to be less enthusiastic about voting this time around.


Still, if the trend toward greater interest in voting continues, Latinos will be in a position to influence the outcomes in a number of state-wide and local races.  To help you follow along on election night, America’s Voice has prepared a Voter Guide to the Candidates on Immigration Reform.  The guide,


“reviews the candidates’ positions on immigration in sixty-four competitive races in nineteen states.  These include seven gubernatorial, six U.S. Senate, and forty-one U.S. House races in which Latino and immigrant voters could help decide the outcome.”


Meanwhile, a new poll of California voters provides some insight into why, in that state at least, using immigration as a wedge issue isn’t particularly effective.  Among other things, the poll, by the Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California, asks likely voters their opinion about immigration and immigration reform.  In one question, respondents are asked whether immigrants today “are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills,” or are they “a burden to California because they use public services.”  By a wide margin, 48% to 32%, likely voters believe immigrants are a benefit. 


Regarding immigration reform, respondents were asked should “most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United State for at least two years” be “given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status,” or should they be “deported back to their native country?”  By a margin of 59% to 30%, respondents who said they were likely voters said undocumented immigrants should be given a chance to stay.


The poll is consistent with California and national polls from previous years, some of which you can find here.

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