2.4 million Latino youth will turn 18 before November 6, gaining the right to vote for the first time. Our partner ImpreMedia sent us this story about two young activists–one Democrat, one Republican–who are trying to bring young Latino citizens to the polls.
A new Impremedia poll shows that Latinos support the majority of the federal health care law’s provisions and oppose its repeal. But just like other voters, they are against the clause that will force them to purchase coverage, the so-called mandate.
Republicans are criticized for the lack of progress on immigration reform in a new poll of Hispanic voters, but dissatisfaction with Democrats is seen as well. 49 percent say they are “certain” to vote for President Obama in 2012.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Support for Barack Obama in the presidential election among Hispanic voters may have been even higher than exit polls have indicated. According to a new poll released Thursday by ImpreMedia, the country’s largest Spanish-language newspaper chain, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Obama’s margin over John McCain may have exceeded the 2-to-1 ratio indicated by earlier surveys.
Seventy-two percent of Latino voters chose the Democrat, said the poll, which surveyed 800 Latino registered voters between November 7 and 14 “in the 21 states with the largest Latino voter populations, and accounting for 93 percent of the Latino electorate,” according to NALEO’s press release.
That figure is higher than the 67 percent announced after Election Day — the difference, according to La Opinion‘s Pilar Marrero, lies in the fact that this survey included early and absentee voters who accounted for “forty percent of Latino voters.”
The poll also seems to confirm that turnout among Latinos was high: 92 percent of registered Latinos surveyed said they voted in this election. Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund said in the press release,
The record turnout among Latinos solidifies this emerging electorate as an important voting bloc among U.S. voters. The survey also finds that naturalized immigrant voters and first time voters played a significant role in shaping the Latino vote.
However, the Democratic Party should heed the message of Latino voters in our survey: with their strong support of President-elect Obama and his party, come high expectations.
Obama Calls On Latinos To Vote In "Record Numbers," Promises To Address Immigration Reform In His First Year
Senator Barack Obama appears to have launched a Hispanic version of his closing argument to voters. In an exclusive interview with the Spanish-language newspaper chain ImpreMedia, the Democratic candidate said he intends to “guarantee that [immigration reform] will not be used as a political football” and added that he was “committed” to putting together “a recipe” for immigration reform “starting in my first year” in the presidency.
In his chat with reporter Maribel Hastings of L.A. newspaper La Opinión, he made the disclaimer that if elected president he would have to deal with some more urgent issues at the start of his term. But Obama gave assurances that he is still committed to pushing forward immigration reform during his first year in office. [The interview was available only in Spanish on the chain’s website Tuesday: what follows is our translation back into English.]
The Democrat –who’s been warning his supporters against complacency despite his steady lead in the polls– also urged Hispanics to get out and vote. It’s becoming widely accepted that Obama will need Hispanic voters to put him over the top in some key states on the electoral map.
“I hope everyone understands what is at stake: if we’re going to try and make fundamental changes, comprehensive immigration reform, and a health care system that works for everyone, then we will have to see the Hispanic vote get out in record numbers,” he said. “In the battleground states, they can make all the difference in the world.”