The latest Fox News poll published March 5 shows that President Barack Obama is winning the Hispanic vote by 70 percent to 14 percent against Mitt Romney. Romney’s share is less than one-half of the Hispanic vote John McCain received in 2008 (31%).
In Colorado, 70 percent would be a major improvement over the 61 percent Obama received from Hispanic voters as reported by the 2008 exit poll (see Blogspot, Sept. 28, 2011).
Although Hispanic voters are not happy with the administration’s handling of immigration, they consider the economy, jobs and health care as more important, and they tend to support liberal-, Democratic-oriented positions on them.
And, more important, the Republican nomination fight has pushed the candidates to take very sharp and high visibility positions on illegal immigration. Romney, for example, in the Arizona debate praised controversial Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff Joe Arpaio and advocated building a wall and ending federal legal action against state’s, like Arizona’s, anti-illegal immigrant legislation.
In contrast, Hispanics overwhelmingly support the Dream Act (91%), which grants legal status to unauthorized immigrant children if they attend college or serve in the U.S. military for two years (Pew, Dec. 2011).
Two-thirds of Hispanics report affiliation with the Democratic Party (67%), which ensures they are more likely to support President Obama. Only 20 percent of Hispanics consider themselves Republicans. Income, religion and ideology produce some of the largest partisan difference among them.