News Column

Hispanic Vote Tilts Strongly to Obama in Win

Nov. 12, 2012
Latinos for Obama

Strong support from Hispanics, the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, helped tip President Barack Obama's fortunes as he secured a second term in the White House.

Obama's support among Hispanics was about 70 percent, according to Reuters/Ipsos election day polling, roughly in line with the percentage that voted for him four years ago.

It was critical for Obama to retain the coveted voting bloc, especially because he lost support among white men, said Matt Barreto, a political scientist at the University of Washington who has tracked Hispanic sentiment for months.

Obama saw his support among white men decline to 36 percent in this election from 41 percent in 2008.

Obama made a strong effort to court the estimated 24 million eligible Hispanic voters, seeking to overcome some discontent over his immigration policies.

In September, Obama said his "biggest failure" was the lack of comprehensive immigration reform, although his administration launched a program in June to allow young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary work permits.

"We saw Obama's standing among Hispanics and overall voter enthusiasm increase after his announcement this summer," Barreto said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican challenger, had taken a hard line, saying undocumented immigrants should leave the country, or "self-deport," before making a bid for citizenship.

Source: (C) 2012 Chicago Daily Herald. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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