Obama's Successful Play for Latino Votes

President Obama can’t win re-election without high support and turnout from Latino voters, and to that end he has aggressively targeted them with ads, speeches, and one bold attempt to unilaterally reform immigration policy as it applies to the children of undocumented immigrants. If the latest poll from Latino Decisions is any indication, this strategy is working. Since June, Obama’s Latino support has risen 4 points to 70 percent, while Mitt Romney’s support has declined to 22 percent of Latino voters:

The poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress and America’s Voice, which advocates for immigration reform, finds Obama with a substantial lead over Romney in all segments of the Latino electorate. He wins 60 percent of Latino independents, 72 percent of Latinos who voted in the 2008 election, and 71 percent of Latinos in battleground states. He even wins 13 percent of Latino Republicans, compared to only 9 percent of Republicans overall. Here’s a full chart of the results:

Overall, the question isn’t whether Obama will win the Latino vote—there’s a good chance of him surpassing his previous performance—it’s whether they will turn out in significant numbers. At the moment, Latino Decisions predicts that Latinos will comprise eight percent of the national electorate, a one percent decrease from 2008. Higher turnout—in the nine to ten percent range—puts Colorado in a safer spot, and puts Arizona in play. Lower turnout, in the six to seven percent range, turns an Obama victory into a decidedly tough prospect.

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