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Obama Leads Romney 70% To 22% Among Latino Voters

A new Latino Decision Poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney among Latino by a greater margin than he won the group in 2008:

Latino Decisions released new national poll of Latino registered voters showing Barack Obama winning 70% of the Latino vote compared to 22% for Mitt Romney.  The poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and America’s Voice,  illustrates an increase in support for President Obama, and comes after a month of outreach to Latino voters, starting with the June 15 Dream announcement, appearances by the President and Vice President at NALEO and NCLR conferences, and comments opposing Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law.  This poll marks the first time Obama has received 70% of the vote in Latino Decisions polling on the presidential election over the past 20 months.

Obama maintains a substantial lead over Romney within nearly all segments of the Latino electorate.  Among foreign-born, naturalized citizens Obama leads 72% to 19% and among U.S.-born Latinos he leads 69% to 25%.  Similarly, Obama polls ahead of Romney by a large margin, 76% to 15% among Spanish dominant Latinos, and also has a healthy lead of 66% to 28% from English dominant.  Two concerns for Romney may that 13% of self-identified Latino Republicans say they will cross-over and vote for Obama and 60% of Independents plan to vote for Obama.  In contrast only 2% of Democrats say they plan to vote for Romney.

None of this is new, of course, the GOP’s problems with the Latino vote are something we’re written about here at OTB several times now, and this chart demonstrates the tremendous gap that has opened up between the parties among an ethnic group that George W. Bush nearly won in 2004:

It’s worth noting that the sponsors of the poll are both groups on the left side of the spectrum, and that there is always a problem with polling discrete ethnic groups in this manner. However, this poll does seem to have better methodology than others that we have seen:

Latino Decisions interviewed 504 Latino registered voters between July 7-16, 2012 using live telephone callers, sampled across all 50 states, and the Latino population in our sample is proportionate to the actual Latino population across all states. 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 39% of Latinos chose to complete the survey in Spanish.  Overall, the sample has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

So there appears to be some reliability to these numbers and, if they are even close to being true, then the GOP has potentially serious problems in swing states like Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia. The one caveat here is that voter participation among Latinos has historically been lower than it is for other ethnic groups, but the Obama campaign will no doubt be doing much outreach in the Latino community to get as many people to the polls as possible in those swing states I mentioned. More broadly, given the gap and the fact, reflected in the chart above, that the “Latino Gap” seems to be a fixed thing, it seems unlikely that Romney can do much of anything to turn this around before November notwithstanding the urging from people like Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio that they do so.

You can’t say, though, that the campaign isn’t trying, as a new ad featuring one of Romney’s sons attests:

That’s the beginning of the latest Spanish language television ad from presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who uses his youngest son to highlight his family’s roots in Mexico.

Last week the campaign released another Spanish spot featuring Craig, who is fluent in Spanish, encouraging Latino voters to “get to know” his dad. The campaign said Wednesday’s spot is their ninth Spanish language spot since January.

In the spot released Wednesday, called “Nation of Immigrants,” Craig says his dad “values very much that we are a nation of immigrants.”

He continued, “My grandfather George was born in Mexico. For our family the greatness of the United States is how we respect and help each other, regardless of where we come from. As President, my father will work on a permanent solution to the immigration system, working with leaders of both parties.”

George Romney, who served as governor of Michigan from 1963-1969 and ran for the GOP presidential nomination ahead of the 1968 election, was born in Mexico to a Mormon family that fled from religious persecution in the United States. When the Mexican Revolution broke out, George Romney’s family moved back to the United States.

Mitt Romney has largely avoided using his connection to Mexico in the 2012 presidential race, though he did make brief mentions of his father during campaign stops in Florida ahead of the state’s January primary.

I seriously doubt that a few Spanish language ads featuring a Romney son and emphasizing the Mexican roots of George Romney, who’s been dead for a decade, are going to change many minds in the Latino community, especially when the Obama campaign will likely be running ads featuring the statements that Romney made about immigration during the Republican primary race when he talked about things like voluntary deportation and came out emphatically against the DREAM Act, which is highly popular in the Latino community. If Romney had some of the same immigration positions he did before he started running for President, when he was much more open to immigration reform and even citizenship for illegal immigrants then he wouldn’t have this problem. Of course, if he did he probably wouldn’t have won the Republican nomination, would he?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Also, it is impossible for Romney to attack the Obama Administration as being hostile to the Hispanic/Latino community for having deported approximately 400,000 illegal immigrants, seeing as how Romney opposed even the mild Dream Act proposal.

    The GOP “debates” really firebombed Republican chances to get back to the 40% level the GOP had during the Bush years. When it comes to the Latino voters, Romney is left with, “yes, but I’m not Obama,”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. PJ says:

    This isn’t a problem for the GOP, they’ll just have to make sure that Latinos are unable to vote.
    And they are working on it as we speak.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  3. KansasMom says:

    This should put to rest the delusion that New Mexico is in play, as RCP still had it listed earlier today. Nevada, Colorado and Florida look increasingly problematic for Romney too. The only people who like Romney are white men and rich folks, that’s a hilarious coalition!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. As I understand it, Romney’s relatives lived in an English-speaking Mormon enclave, in Mexico.

    Do Hispanics consider that “Mexican?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    As I understand it, Romney’s relatives lived in an English-speaking Mormon enclave, in Mexico.
    Do Hispanics consider that “Mexican?”

    I’ve heard it said that local Mexicans knew Mitt Romney’s grandfather as “Blanco Villa”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. mattb says:

    The larger problem for the GOP is not so much the gap, but the way that they rationalize/excuse the gap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  7. mantis says:

    Too bad all of the “Democratic Plantation” crap we hear from wingnuts like Allen West doesn’t work on Latinos. I guess they’ll have to come up with some other way to offend the people they are trying to convince to vote for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. jmc says:

    Hardly surprising considering that the vast majority of “Latinos” come from the political culture of PRI. Looking to the state as benefactor and provider and the voter as a mere client of the local party “caudillo”. So perfect voting fodder any local populist party which promises state largess in return for their vote.

    This is a part of the electorate that the GOP can never serve. Destroy the the state apparatus that doles out the political motivated goodies and it might be a different story.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  9. mattb says:

    Thanks to @jmc for the first example of what my point that “

    The larger problem for the GOP is not so much the gap, but the way that they rationalize/excuse the gap.

    @jmc:
    Hardly surprising considering that the vast majority of “Latinos” come from the political culture of PRI. Looking to the state as benefactor and provider and the voter as a mere client of the local party “caudillo”.

    Rationalization #1 – “Latinos” (note the quotes to let us know that this is a made up group that really don’t represent ‘real’ hispanics) are primarily Democrats because they are addicted to government subsidies and entitlements. In other words, its “Welfare Queens in Cadillacs” all over again.

    This is a part of the electorate that the GOP can never serve. Destroy the the state apparatus that doles out the political motivated goodies and it might be a different story.

    Rationalization #1a – They’ll never vote Republican because Republicans refuse to buy their votes though social entitlement programs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Definitely to a large extent a self-inflicted wound on the part of the GOP in general and Romney in particular.

    That said, however, a 70-22 margin or anything close to that in favor of Obama among Latinos is exceptionally sad news, for the Latino community. That bodes quite ill over the long term. For the simple and obvious reason that identity politics, albeit quite popular on college campuses and in mass media newsrooms, out in the real world is a disaster that leads to systemic malaise, despair and rank poverty. And we don’t need some fancy analysis to prove that. All one needs to do is to review the black communities in places like Detroit, Chicago, Philly, New Orleans, Newark, Boston and Oakland. Misery loves company.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  11. Barry says:

    Doug: “If Romney had some of the same immigration positions he did before he started running for President, when he was much more open to immigration reform and even citizenship for illegal immigrants then he wouldn’t have this problem. Of course, if he did he probably wouldn’t have won the Republican nomination, would he?”

    Good point – this ‘gap’ is not due to any miscommunication. It’s due to the fact that the base of the GOP clearly doesn’t like or want any racial/ethnic minorities. An undeniable message of the past couple of years and the primary season was that this is a core policy of the GOP base. It’s not a committee plank.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Barry says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “For the simple and obvious reason that identity politics, albeit quite popular on college campuses and in mass media newsrooms, out in the real world is a disaster that leads to systemic malaise, despair and rank poverty. ”

    Let me help you here – Latinos have been quite willing to vote GOP. It’s the GOP who told them to go f*ck themselves. It’s the GOP who practices 100% identity politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  13. Casual Mx says:

    @jmc: @jmc: You have no idea what you’re talking about. The PRI is the least popular party among Mexicans in the US, and had they been the only ones voting, the PRI would have lost overwhelmingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. paladin says:

    Since this poll was commissioned by Soros funded Center for American Progress, we can be sure there is no agenda here. lol

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 18

  15. DRS says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    For the simple and obvious reason that identity politics, albeit quite popular on college campuses and in mass media newsrooms, out in the real world is a disaster that leads to systemic malaise, despair and rank poverty.

    Do you ever listen to yourself? How is it identify politics if Latinos or whover vote for a candidate who doesn’t belong to the party that seems to go out of its way to provoke or insult them?

    There’s a simple solution if Republicans want Latino or black or gay or fill-in-the-blank voters:run better candidates who don’t say dumb things. If the Republicans put 10% of the effort they’ve dedicated to what the Tsar has called Biblebots, they’d be miles ahead of where they are now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  16. stonetools says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    All one needs to do is to review the black communities in places like Detroit, Chicago, Philly, New Orleans, Newark, Boston and Oakland. Misery loves company.

    I think slavery and a century of Jim Crow may have had a little to do with that poverty and misery. I guess since you are a Russian czar and all, you may not understand that centuries of servitude is what creates economic misery, not “identity politics”:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  17. mattb says:

    @paladin:

    Since this poll was commissioned by Soros funded Center for American Progress, we can be sure there is no agenda here. lol

    Rationalization #2 : The survey is biased and the GOP has not Latino problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Shorter modern GOP: If those lazy, shiftless, criminal, welfare-loving wetbacks won’t vote for us, clearly there’s something wrong with them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  19. Liberty60 says:

    @mantis:
    Expect Frank Luntz to test-market “Democratic Rancho” soon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. paladin says:

    Why so touchy mattb? You can.’t possibly believe this Soros poll is unbiased, honest and nonpartisan and if stuff like the DREAM act and “comprehensive” immigration reform was so popular and such a vote-getter, the Democrat controlled congress would have passed it during the first two years of Obama’s term.

    This is just more mindless GOP-bashing stuff that Doug likes to throw out to his leftwing commenters—I mean, how many posts have been done here on this Bain business? The Bainers are getting to be like the Birthers—-there will never be enough information put out to satisfy them or change their minds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  21. mattb says:

    @paladin:

    Why so touchy mattb?

    Please point out where I’m being touchy.

    My thesis, expressed above, is that the GOP’s systemic problem is not so much the Latino voter gap, but rather the reactions that they have to it.

    Yours was another post that illustrated exactly what I mean.

    I suspect you were the sort of person who, circa late October 2008 was telling all of your friends that “all the polls were biased and that there’s no question that McCain/Palin would win in a landslide.”

    Beyond that, the fact is that you use “Soros”, much like Alinsky, to immediately discount any information that you don’t like without any attempt to address the content or context. Point out to me the issues with the polling/argument. Don’t just say “Soros paid for it, so it must be wrong.”

    That would be as foolish as to say “The Koch Brother’s paid for it, so it must be wrong.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. mantis says:

    @paladin:

    You’re an idiot.

    You can.’t possibly believe this Soros poll

    It’s a poll sponsored by the Center for American Progress and America’s Voice, but performed by Latino Decisions, a polling firm that specializes in the Latino community. Soros has absolutely nothing to do with it, and when you bring him up you show yourself to be just another wingnut moron.

    if stuff like the DREAM act and “comprehensive” immigration reform was so popular and such a vote-getter, the Democrat controlled congress would have passed it during the first two years of Obama’s term.

    You are an idiot. Those things are vote-getters among Latinos, but they are a minority. Also, they were quite focused on health care reform at that time. I understand wingnuts like you don’t actually know anything or understand our government, but the idea that the Democrats would pass comprehensive immigration reform and health care reform in the extremely small window where they had something close to a filibuster-proof majority (which was a matter of months), is just ridiculous.

    This is just more mindless GOP-bashing stuff

    Reporting a poll result? You wingnuts have incredibly thin skins, don’t you?

    I mean, how many posts have been done here on this Bain business?

    I don’t know, how many. If you don’t like it, you idiot wingnuts shouldn’t have nominated a vulture-bot for president.

    The Bainers are getting to be like the Birthers—-there will never be enough information put out to satisfy them or change their minds.

    Actually, all the information that keeps coming out supports the criticisms of Romney. So you’re still the birthers in this scenario.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  23. al-Ameda says:

    @paladin:

    Since this poll was commissioned by Soros funded Center for American Progress, we can be sure there is no agenda here. lol

    Translation: “La la la la la la … I can’t hear you”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Jett Davis says:

    Sadly Latinos are becoming just like Blacks—mostly socialist-leaning. The only good thing is the voter turnout amongst Hispanics usually runs about 20% behind West Africans in America, and 30% behind Caucasians (other than people of Jewish descent). The lack of rationality amongst Mexicans especially regarding immigration is not unlike that of Blacks when it comes to issues like Affirmative Action and perceptions of anti-Black racism—it’s all about emotion. And as long as people allow themselves to have their emotional buttons pushed by the MSM on these hot button issues—instead of using facts—the Left, and irrationality, will reign supreme.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  25. Liberty60 says:

    @Jett Davis: Gromitt Gunn, you have already posted this!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @mattb:

    OK, so how does the more conservative party appeal to a demographic group where 50% of the Latino children born last year were born to single mothers. So how does the more conservative party appeal to a group that has some on the highest high school drop out rates? How do the Republicans ever manage to outpander the Democratic Party for the Latino vote.

    Any conservative party that moves to left enough to appeal to a significant number of Latinos would stop being a conservative party and would be indistinguishable from the current Democratic Party.

    Do you really think that Latinos who would vote for Luis Guiterrez or Raul Grijalva could ever be convinced to vote for smaller government or a bigger private sector?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  27. Mr. Replica says:

    @Jett Davis:

    And as long as people allow themselves to have their emotional buttons pushed by the MSM on these hot button issues—instead of using facts—the Left, and irrationality, will reign supreme.

    Considering both sides, the left and the right, use emotions as a way to get votes, I do not see how it’s only the left that is irrational.
    Maybe Hispanics and African Americans don’t like the dogmatic view of the current Republican party? Maybe the vast majority of these people do not like hearing that anyone who doesn’t agree with the views of the republican party as being labeled “UN-American” or “treasonous”? That anyone who thinks government has a prominent role in society is just being put into modern day slavery?

    If I was a legal immigrant to this country and I wanted to feel acceptance, I sure as heck would not want to affiliate myself with a party that draws into question a person’s patriotism over a simple disagreement. Whether it’s how much a person should be taxed, whether or not they feel government has a larger role to play in society.

    While it is true that BOTH parties use methods that draw potential voters in using fear and other emotions. The one thing the democrats have going for them is the mere fact they don’t question a person’s love of country or their “American” values on something like a less than 5% tax raise on the wealthy.

    Personally, I believe that the middle class are the job creators, so I guess that makes me UN-American and I do not have any American values.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. mattb says:

    Thanks to @Jett Davis for rationalization #3: Latinos and blacks (pretty much everyone who isn’t white) are too emotional and irrational to realize that they are voting against their interests.

    Extra points for getting dangerously close to a rationalization for why poll tests should be reinstated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. mattb says:

    Unsurprisingly @superdestroyer with rationalization #4: of course they vote democrat, they’re brown and destroying America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. An Interested Party says:

    Since this poll was commissioned by Soros funded Center for American Progress, we can be sure there is no agenda here.

    I’m sure that people in the Democratic Party hope that people like you keep whistling past the graveyard as that will help them to sew up the Latino vote for quite some time…

    Sadly Latinos are becoming just like Blacks—mostly socialist-leaning.

    More whistling going on…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. superdestroyer says:

    @mattb:

    How man white Ivy Leaguers are moving to El Paso, Brownsville, or Santa Ana California because of the massive economic activity driven by illegal aliens. I would guess none. All of those Ivy Leaguers are moving into Manhattan, Williamsburg to get as far away as possible from those brown people.,

    When the total number of whites has been going down in California for 20 years should be a clear enough sign that when the Hispanic move in, the whites move out because there is no place in the public schools, public square, or in public life for whites in a majority Hispanic area. Middle class Republicans realize this but elite, white progressives think they are clever enough to get the benefits of the one party state that massive illegal immigration will create while avoiding the social costs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. @superdestroyer:

    Your earlier comment about “What can Republicans bring to Hispanics? Nothing.” wasn’t actually too bad. They don’t bring that much, even for successful Hispanics.

    This comment on Santa Ana is kind of off though. It’s a mixed town. I can find you a nice $1,250,000 house, in a neighborhood of mostly $600K-700K homes.

    If you want to get out of California, go ahead. If you want to stay away, go ahead. But it’s actually a pretty vibrant place, and our gumbo of cultures makes it so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. paladin says:

    @An Interested Party: This isn’t “whistling past the graveyard” since at least the GOP recognizes they have a problem with the Hispanic vote, which is more than you can say about the Democrats.

    My experience in Texas is that most Hispanics are swing voters rather than mindless lockstep voters like blacks. They vote their interests, which is why I think Romney is doing the right thing by appealing to unemployment, etc. The GOP will never to be able to out-Santa Claus the Democrat Party, so they do what they can by treating Hispanics like real people rather than go for the identity politics shtick of the Dems.

    But do tell, what has the Democrat Party done for Hispanics except talk? Oh sure, Obama got nervous and threw out the mini-Dream Act or whatever the hell that was, but there is no meat on it—it is just words from a man who has a reputation of not keeping his word.

    I’ll bet you didn’t know Obama delivered the Big Labor poison pill to those pushing immigration reform back in the day when he was a US Senator and George Bush was pushing it—Mr. Google is your friend—live and learn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  34. mantis says:

    what has the Democrat Party done for Hispanics except talk?

    Nothing, because there is no “Democrat Party” in this country. Where are you from, dumbass?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. paladin says:

    Dumbass? Is that all you’ve got? Really? Please explain how the Democrat Party is democratic. How is Obama and his multiple executive orders “democratic”?

    Dumbass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  36. mantis says:

    Please explain how the Democrat Party is democratic.

    There is no “Democrat Party” in the US. If you are going to comment on the politics in my country, you should at least familiarize yourself with the parties, dumbass.

    How is Obama and his multiple executive orders “democratic”?

    He won the election. That’s how democracy works here, dumbass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. Eric Florack says:

    You guys need to step back and see the big picture, here. Consider;

    * Increased pressure on states like Arizona to not enforce laws… theirs or the federal government’s… designed keep illegals out of the country

    * A demonstrated need by Obama and company to eliminate proof of attempts to find work to qualify for welfare…. after all, illegals can’t work, supposedly… thus making it easy for illegals to live off our dime, as opposed to the legal immigrants who must now prove they have the ability to support themselves.

    * The constant efforts to eliminate requirements of an ID for voters… thus making illegals able to vote illegally, much more easily.

    Now we see Obama pushing food stamps in Mexico.

    The obvious conclusion to draw is that Obama knows he has a major voting block behind him…. Illegals.

    Go ahead… explain to me how there can be any other motivation involved in these tactics, other than a cynical effort to collect illegal votes.

    (Cold stare)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0