New poll: Latino voters in battle ground states enthusiastic about Obama DREAM announcement, oppose Romney ‘self-deport’ alternative

by  on 06/17/2012

A new poll released June 17, 2012 by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice finds that Latino registered voters are very enthusiastic about President Obama’s recent announcement and action on immigration policy that will halt deportations and provide temporary work permits to some young undocumented immigrants. This new finding stands in clear contrast to the low levels of enthusiasm among Latino voters towards the previous deportation policies under the Obama administration. The joint survey between Latino Decisions and America’s Voice polled Latino registered voters in five key battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, and is part of a larger survey on Latino battleground states to be released later in June.

Prior to June 15, 2012, many immigration reform advocates had stated that the record high levels of deportations of immigrants under the Obama administration was causing some Latinos to grow weary about the Obama re-election campaign. In a Latino Decisions/Univision News poll in early 2012 53% of Latino voters said they were less enthusiastic about Obama in 2012 than they had been in 2009, while just 30% were more excited about the President. Overall, when asked what they thought about Obama’sdeportation of 1.2 million immigrants, 41% of Latino voters said they were less enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 22% who were more enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm deficit of -19 points. The announcement on June 15 appears to have clearly erased Obama’s enthusiasm deficit among Latinos.

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When asked how they felt about Obama’s action that would halt deportations and provide work permits to undocumented immigrant youth who attend college or serve in the military 49% of Latino voters said it would make them more enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 14% who were less enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm advantage of +35 points. We should be clear that these two questions were not meant to gauge overall support levels for policy, but rather how policy statements on their own, could change a potential voters degree of enthusiasm for or against the President. Last week we released a poll that found 87% of Latinos and 62% of non-Latinos, supported the DREAM Act.

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In contrast to these recent statements by Obama, the survey also tested enthusiasm towards policy statements by Mitt Romney on immigration. Respondents were asked whether Romney’s statements calling on undocumented immigrants to self-deport back to their “home” countries, and to make immigration laws in Arizona a model for the nation, made them more or less enthusiastic about Romney. Among Latino registered voters in five key battleground states, 10% said the Romney statements made them more enthusiastic, while 59% said the statements made them less enthusiastic about Romney, a net enthusiasm deficit of -49 points.

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About the Poll

Latino Decisions interviewed 775 Latino registered voters between June 12-16, 2012 using live telephone callers, sampled across five states (AZ, CO, FL, NV, VA).  A mix of landline and cell phone-only households were called, and up to 5 attempts were made per number. Latino respondents had the opportunity to complete the survey in either English or Spanish, using fully bilingual callers, and overall 38% of Latinos chose to complete the survey in Spanish.  Data are weighted to the state proportion of the Latino population across the five states for a combined battleground sample. Overall, the sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%. Additional survey results, including state-by-state results, and Obama-Romney match-ups will be reported later this month.

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