President Barack Obama’s controversial decision last week not toenforce illegal immigration laws that apply to 800,000 illegal aliensappears to have boosted his already sizable lead among Latino voters inkey battleground states, according to a new poll by Latino Decisions andAmerica’s Voice.
Mr. Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney by an average of 63 percent to 27 percent among Latino voters in the swing-states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia.
Political analysts believe Mr. Romney will need need to win roughly40 percent of Latino voters nationally to win the White House inNovember. In 2004, President George W. Bush made significant inroadswhen he won 44 percent of the Latino voting bloc, now the second largest racial group in America.
Both Obama and Romney spoke last week at the National Association of LatinoElected and Appointed Officials conference. Mr. Obama used his decision to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants to zing Mr. Romney:
“Irefused to keep looking young people in the eye, deserving young peoplein the eye, and tell them tough luck,” he said, receiving a standingovation from the crowd that gave Romney a cool reception the day before.
“Yourspeaker from yesterday has a different view. In a speech he said thatwhen he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it. Well he has promised toveto the DREAM Act, and we should take him at his word,” the Democraticpresident said.
“I’m just sayin’,” he added, to laughter.
In response to the president’s remarks, Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said, “No election-year speech can cover up thepresident’s job-killing policies that have led to 11 percent Hispanicunemployment and millions of Hispanics living in poverty.”
America’s Voice, a pro-immigration reform group, and Latino Decisionssay that their poll of 2,000 Latino voters has a margin of error of 2.2percentage points overall and 4.9 percent for data on each state.