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Posts tagged ‘Hispanic’

States Buck Public Opinion, Offer Driver’s Licenses to Illegals.

Nevada has become the latest state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license — even as public opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans oppose such measures.
A national poll conducted in October by Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigrants should not be allowed to obtain state driver’s licenses. Just 22 percent favor licenses for illegals in their state.
Critics say the laws encourage illegal immigration by legitimizing the status of those who come to the United States illegally.

“It is a kind of amnesty. It doesn’t given them any legal status, but by giving them a government-issued ID, it helps them imbed in society,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C.,  said in an interview with Newsmax.

“This is a way of protecting illegals from coming to the attention of immigration authorities,” Krikorian said. “It’s a way of documenting the undocumented.”
In Nevada, Democratic-led lawmakers approved a driver’s license law in 2013. It was signed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state’s first Hispanic governor, who considers it a public safety measure, and went into effect at the beginning of this month.

“Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s privilege card will increase the number of drivers on Nevada’s roads that are insured and aware of traffic rules and regulations,” Sandoval said in a statement after signing the bill.

When Nevada began issuing licenses on Jan. 2, long lines formed at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Las Vegas, waiting for the 8 a.m. opening of the office. The Associated Press reported that “thousands of Nevada immigrants” sought to obtain licenses on the first day.

Those applying for the driving privilege cards must show some proof of their identity as well as evidence of Nevada residency and insurance. New drivers must pass a driving test, and pay to retake the test if they fail.

The information provided for the licenses, however, may not be used against them for purposes of enforcing immigration laws, a key provision in a state like Nevada where about a fourth of all residents are Latino.

Other states that have approved similar laws include Utah, Washington, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, California, New Mexico, and Illinois, along with the District of Columbia.
Said California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, in signing his state’s law last year: “No longer are undocumented people in the shadows. They are alive and well and respected in the State of California.”

The climate of permissiveness licenses for illegals follows a crackdown period after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacksthat came in response to widespread fears of foreign-born terrorists entering the country.

“After 9-11, things were tightening up. Now those states that are mainly run by Democrats are backtracking,” said Krikorian, noting that Congress has given leeway through the REAL ID law to states to issue immigrant driver’s cards, but those cannot be used for federal identification purposes like boarding planes.
New Mexico, with the nation’s largest Hispanic population, is one state attempting to buck the trend. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is hoping to convince the Democratic-led state legislature to repeal the state’s current law, which offers licenses to illegals.She has tried before and failed, but vows to continue.
Polling shows that Martinez has support for her position, said Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc., a New Mexico firm that has polled for the Albuquerque Journal twice on the issue.

“Both times, the polls that we did for the Journal showed approximately 70 percent of registered voters opposed granting licenses to undocumented workers,” Sanderoff told Newsmax.

“I think it’s a significant issue to the extent that the governor is once again latching onto it,” he said.

New Mexico differs from its heavily Hispanic neighbor Arizona, where its governor, Republican Jan Brewer, has taken an aggressive stance against illegals in her state. In New Mexico, most Hispanic residents are natives, tracing their lineage back to Spain, said Sanderoff.

“Most New Mexicans are Americans, born and raised here, more so than the average state,” he said, which likely explains why voters there oppose the law by a wide margin.

The trend could continue as Congress renews its debate on immigration reform this year and proponents continue to push for the measure in more states.

“The push for it is nationally coordinated,” Krikorian said. “There is a broader push by national groups to have more say in the issue. They see it in two ways. First, as a practical matter, it helps to imbed the illegal immigrants in the U.S., making it less likely they will leave. Also, it will be presented as evidence of nationwide momentum for immigration ‘reform.'”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Andrea Billups

Poll: Only 43 Percent Favor Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants.

While 71 percent of Americans say illegal immigrant meeting certain requirements should be allowed to stay in the country, only 43 percent say they should have a path to citizenshipaccording to a Pew Research poll.

Meanwhile, 27 percent say illegal immigrants shouldn’t be permitted to remain in the United States, and 24 percent favor legal residency without citizenship.

About 40 million immigrants were living in the country in 2011, and 11.1 million, or 28 percent, were here illegally, according to Pew.

As for the impact of immigrants, 49 percent of Americans say they strengthen the country because of their hard work and ability, while 41 percent say they are a burden because they hog jobs, healthcare and housing.

Those numbers represent an improvement of the perception of immigrants since June 2010, when 39 percent of respondents said immigrants strengthened the country, while 50 percent said they were a burden.

A total of 52 percent of respondents say the growing number of immigrants in the country strengthens society overall, while 43 percent say they threaten traditional American values and customs.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Large Racial Gap Marks Trust on Immigration.

Slightly more Americans trust Barack Obama than congressional Republicans to handle immigration, but with neither side garnering a majority and vast differences in preferences between whites and nonwhites in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Americans overall divide by 45-39 percent between Obama and the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the issue; the rest are undecided or trust neither side. Whites favor the GOP over Obama on immigration by 47-36 percent, while nonwhites (blacks, Hispanics and others) prefer Obama by a broad 71-16 percent.

See PDF with full results here.

There also are sharp partisan and ideological differences in trust on immigration in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research AssociatesDemocrats and Republicans each prefer their side’s approach by an identical 66 percentage points; independents divide closely between Obama and the GOP, 41-36 percent. Very conservative Americans favor the Republicans on immigration by 65 points and those who say they’re somewhat conservative do so by 33 points. Moderates take Obama’s side by a 21-point margin, liberals by 61 points.

Obama has made immigration reform a second-term priority, having beaten Mitt Romney in last year’s election by 61 percentage points among the growing proportion of nonwhites overall and by 44 points among Hispanics, while losing whites by 20 points.

In step with the president’s policy direction, majorities in recent ABC/Post polls have supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. His approval rating on the issue in February, while just 49 percent, was the highest of his presidency and up 11 points since the summer.


By Greg Holyk | ABC OTUS News

It’s in neither party’s interest to let the sequester take effect.

After a hastily called meeting at the White House this morning, President Obama and congressional leaders departed after just an hour with no deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit later today.

While most of the discussion has been on how the spending cuts will hurt Americans, a larger consideration is what Americans will lose with no compromise between the two parties.

By refusing to consider more revenues by closing tax loopholes for wealthy Americans, Republicans have lost out on a chance to control entitlement spending. Had the GOP pushed a plan to dramatically cut entitlement spending in combination with new revenues, it would have been very hard for President Obama to refuse.

As Ron Brownstein correctly points out, Republicans “are underestimating the value of a Democratic president willing to provide a heat shield for entitlement reductions that would face initial public resistance.”

Meanwhile, President Obama pointed out in his press conference immediately following his talks with congressional leaders that economic growth will be less than it could be as long as the sequester is in effect. The coalition he put together to win re-election — young people, minorities, and single women — will arguably hurt more than any other demographic group if economic growth stalls.

Brownstein notes that “nothing will strain that coalition more than a recovery too tepid to provide greater opportunity, especially for hard-hit young people, African-Americans, and Hispanics.”

By letting arbitrary spending cuts take effect — regardless of short-term political calculus — is all the proof you need, as Walter Shapiro notes, “that the inmates are now running the asylum.”


Taegan D. Goddard

Sotomayor Criticizes Prosecutor for Racial Remark.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday publicly criticized a federal prosecutor for what she called “a racially charged remark” during a drug trial.

The comment came as the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Bongani Charles Calhoun, who said during his 2011 trial he didn’t know a group of men he was with at a hotel were preparing for a drug deal.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Ponder asked him in open court, “You’ve got African Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you — a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, ‘This is a drug deal?'”

Calhoun was convicted and sentenced to prison on drug conspiracy and firearm charges. He appealed his conviction, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn the convictions and sentence.

Sotomayor agreed with the decision not to hear the case, but said in a statement that she wanted to be sure that denial wasn’t thought to “signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor’s racially charged remark.”

Sotomayor criticized the prosecutor, saying the statement was “pernicious in its attempt to substitute racial stereotypes for evidence, and racial prejudice for reason. It is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the United States resort to this base tactic more than a decade into the 21st century.”

“By suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant’s criminal intent, the prosecutor here tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation,” she said, in a statement along with Justice Stephen Breyer.

She closed with: “I hope never to see a case like this again.”



GOP hopes for better ties with Hispanics, blacks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party’s problems with minority voters have preoccupied strategists since November, and it’s possible those difficulties will persist or worsen.

But an opening for marked improvements in GOP-minority relations may be at hand, or at least close by.

Republican leaders would have to make some timely decisions and get a few breaks, which campaign consultants don’t rule out.

The party desperately needs to draw more support from Latinos, a fast-growing sector that gavePresident Barack Obama 71 percent of its vote last fall. Two big opportunities now present themselves.

If Republican lawmakers allow far-reaching immigration changes to become law, even if most of them vote against it, the nettlesome issue might fade from political headlines and perhaps ease anti-GOP feelings among Hispanics. If Republicans in 2016 nominate a Latino for president — say Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida — it’s possible that millions of Hispanic voters would back him.

Black voters appear likely to keep supporting Democrats in overwhelming numbers, but not necessarily the 93 percent Obama, the first black president, drew in November. Even a slight GOP inroad among blacks might swing a state or two in a close 2016 presidential contest.

There are no minorities among the leading Democratic contenders for now, and black voters might not turn out as they did for the history-making Obama in 2008 and 2012. On a symbolic level at least, the presence of black Republican Tim Scott in the Senate bolsters the argument that it’s not outlandish for blacks to be prominent Republicans. The former South Carolina congressman was appointed in December, but he hopes to win a full six-year term next year in what could be an attention-grabbing race.

That’s a lot of “ifs,” of course.

Some campaign strategists think it’s just as likely that Republicans will worsen their standing among minorities in the coming months and years ahead. That’s especially true if congressional Republicansblock Obama’s bid to grant a way to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

But the scenario of significant GOP improvements among Hispanic and black voters is “not far-fetched at all,” said former Republican House aide John Feehery. “Passing immigration reform is the first step,” he said. “From there, build coalitions predicated on making these communities more prosperous, with better, more effective spokespeople like Rubio and Scott. I think it can happen.”

Republican pollster Steve Lombardo is dubious. He labels the GOP good-news scenario as “unlikely, but not impossible.”

“It will take three or four singular events of this type that, when put together, send a signal to voters that this is not your father’s Republican Party,” Lombardo said.

Republicans must decide soon how to handle immigration, an emotional issue that has divided both political parties for years. Many conservatives, who make up the GOP base, strongly oppose legalized status for illegal immigrants, even for those who have lived and worked in this country for years.

House Republicans are struggling with possible compromises, which might include eventual legal residency for such immigrants, but not citizenship. Obama supporters say that’s an unworkable solution.

Many Republicans hope Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, can lead their party out of the immigration jam. He backs a plan that could lead to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but only after more stringent conditions, including a high level of border security.

Some Republicans also are pushing Rubio for president. His candidacy might tug Hispanic emotions in many directions, given his heritage and strong tea party ties.

Democratic strategist Doug Thornell says that if Republicans are to attract a bigger share of Hispanic and black voters, they must do more than nominate a Cuban-American and grudgingly let an immigration overhaul occur.

Republicans “have no roots or connections in either community,” Thornell said. He said minority voters associate Republicans with hard-right firebrands such as Rush Limbaugh, and heard GOP presidential candidates in 2012 talk of “self-deportation” and other terms that some felt were denigrating to Hispanics in general.

“It’s shortsighted to believe that if immigration reform is done, somehow Republicans are going to cleanse themselves of openly hostile language that has been directed at Hispanics,” Thornell said. Moreover, he said, blacks and Hispanics were deeply offended by Republican-led efforts to limit voting opportunities in Florida and other states.

A recent Time magazine cover dubbed Rubio the “Republican Savior.” Even Rubio, however, plays down the potential for an immigration overhaul to heal the party’s ailments.

“If anyone is under the illusion that suddenly our percentage of Hispanic voters will double, let me dissuade them,” Rubio told the magazine. Many Hispanic Americans, he said, “have bought into the lie the left is putting out there that because we want to enforce immigration laws, we’re not welcoming.”

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee who did slightly better among Latino voters than 2012 nominee Mitt Romney did, says Hispanics pose a big challenge and opportunity for Republicans.

“We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons,” McCain recently told ABC’s “This Week.”

Thornell says Republicans face “a long-term project” to attract Hispanics to their side, and he doubts they’ll succeed. If they agree to immigration law changes for political reasons, Thornell said, “it’ll look like pandering.”


By CHARLES BABINGTON | Associated Press

Face of US changing; elections to look different.

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2012 file photo shows voters lined up in the dark to beat the 7:00 p.m. deadline to cast their ballots at a polling station in Miami. It's not just the economy. It's the demographics _ the changing face of America. The 2012 elections drove home trends that have been embedded in the fine print of birth and death rates, immigration statistics and census charts for years. America is rapidly getting more diverse. And, more gradually, so is its electorate. Non-whites made up 28 percent of the electorate this year, up from 21 percent in 2000, and much of that growth is coming from Hispanics. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

    Enlarge PhotoAssociated Press/Wilfredo Lee, File – FILE – This Nov. 6, 2012 file photo shows voters lined up in the dark to beat the 7:00 p.m. deadline to cast their ballots at a polling station in Miami. It’s not just …more 


WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just the economy, stupid. It’s the demographics — the changing face of America.

The 2012 elections drove home trends that have been embedded in the fine print of birth and death rates, immigration statistics and census charts for years.

America is rapidly getting more diverse, and, more gradually, so is its electorate.

Nonwhites made up 28 percent of the electorate this year, compared with 20 percent in 2000. Much of that growth is coming from Hispanics.

The trend has worked to the advantage of President Barack Obama two elections in a row now and is not lost on Republicans poring over the details of Tuesday’s results.

Obama captured a commanding 80 percent of the growing ranks of nonwhite voters in 2012, just as he did in 2008. Republican Mitt Romney won 59 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Romney couldn’t win even though he dominated among white men and outperformed 2008 nominee John McCain with that group. It’s an ever-shrinking slice of the electorate and of America writ large.

White men made up 34 percent of the electorate this year, down from 46 percent in 1972.

“The new electorate is a lagging indicator of the next America,” says Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center. “We are midpassage in a century-long journey from the middle of the last century, when we were nearly a 90 percent white nation, to the middle of this coming century, when we will be a majority minority nation.”

Another trend that will be shaping the future electorate is the stronger influence of single women. They vote differently from men and from women who are married. Fifty-four percent of single women call themselves Democrats; 36 percent of married women do.

With women marrying later and divorcing more, single women made up 23 percent of voters in the 2012 election, compared with 19 percent in 2000.

The changing electorate has huge implications for public policy and politics.

Suddenly, immigration overhaul seems a lot more important, for one thing.

Ask white voters about the proper role of government, for another, and 60 percent think it should do less. Ask Hispanics the same question, and 58 percent think the government should do more, as do 73 percent of blacks, exit polls show.

You can hear it in the voice of Alicia Perez, a 31-year-old immigration attorney who voted last week at a preschool in Ysleta, Texas.

“I trust the government to take care of us,” she said. “I don’t trust the Republican Party to take care of people.”

Sure, the election’s biggest issue, the economy, affects everyone. But the voters deciding who should tackle it were quite different from the makeup of the 1992 “It’s the economy, stupid” race that elected Democrat Bill Clinton as president.

Look no further than the battleground states of Campaign 2012 for political ramifications flowing from the country’s changing demographics.

New Western states have emerged as the Hispanic population there grows. In Nevada, for example, white voters made up 80 percent of the electorate in 2000; now they’re at 64 percent. The share of Hispanics in the state electorate has grown to 19 percent; Obama won 70 percent of their votes.

Obama won most of the battlegrounds with a message that was more in sync than Romney’s with minorities, women and younger voters, and by carefully targeting his grassroots mobilizing efforts to reach those groups.

In North Carolina, where Romney narrowly defeated Obama, 42 percent of black voters said they had been contacted on behalf of Obama, compared with just 26 percent of whites, exit polls showed. Obama got just 31 percent of the state’s white vote, but managed to keep it competitive by claiming 96 percent of black voters and 68 percent of Hispanics.

Young voters in the state, two-thirds of whom backed Obama, also were more often the target of Obama’s campaign than Romney’s: 35 percent said they were contacted by Obama, 11 percent by Romney. Among senior citizens, two-thirds of whom voted Republican, 33 percent were contacted by Obama, 34 percent by Romney.

Howard University sociologist Roderick Harrison, former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, said Obama’s campaign strategists proved themselves to be “excellent demographers.”

“They have put together a coalition of populations that will eventually become the majority or are marching toward majority status in the population, and populations without whom it will be very difficult to win national elections and some statewide elections, particularly in states with large black and Hispanic populations,” Harrison said.

One way to see the trend is to look at the diversity of young voters. Among voters under 30 years old this year, only 58 percent are white. Among senior voters, 87 percent are white.

Brookings Institution demographer William H. Frey says policymakers and politicians need to prepare for a growing “cultural generation gap.”

“Both parties are getting the message that this is a new age and a new America,” says Frey. “Finally, the politics is catching up with the demography.”

Just as Republicans need to do a better job of attracting Hispanics, says Frey, Democrats need to do more to reach out to whites.

The face of Congress is changing more slowly than the electorate or the population, but changing it is.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California was happy to highlight the news that for the first time in history, more than half the members of her caucus next year will be women, black, Hispanic or Asian. She said it “reflects the great diversity and strength of our nation.”

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, whose caucus is far more white and male, said Republicans need to learn to “speak to all Americans — you know, not just to people who look like us and act like us.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the GOP’s most prominent black women, said the party needs to understand that “the changing demographics in the country really necessitate an even bigger tent for the Republican Party.”

“Clearly we are losing important segments of that electorate and what we have to do is to appeal to those people not as identity groups but understanding that if you can get the identity issue out of the way, then you can appeal on the broader issues that all Americans share a concern for,” she said.

All sides know the demographic trends are sure to become more pronounced in the future.

In the past year, minority babies outnumbered white newborns for the first time in U.S. history. By midcentury, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and multiracial people combined will become the majority of the U.S.

Since 2000, the Hispanic and Asian populations have grown by more than 40 percent, fueled by increased immigration of younger people as well as more births.

Currently, Hispanics are the largest minority group and make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, compared with 12 percent for blacks and 5 percent for Asians. Together minorities now make up more than 36 percent of the population.

Hispanics will make up roughly 30 percent of the U.S. by midcentury, while the African-American share is expected to remain unchanged at 12 percent. Asian-Americans will grow to roughly 8 percent of the U.S.

“The minorities will vote,” said demographer Frey. “The question is will their vote be split more across the two parties than it was this time?”

For both Republicans and Democrats, he said, the 2012 election is a wake-up call that will echo through the decades.


AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta, Associated Press News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.


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By CONNIE CASS and NANCY BENAC | Associated Press

Election results 2012: Who won it for Obama?.

Exit polls find that a key to Obama’s victory was winning 93 percent of African-Americans, 71 percent of Hispanics, and 73 percent of Asians. Mitt Romney took most of the white vote, which is 72 percent of the electorate. But it wasn’t enough.

President Obama was reelected Tuesday night in large part because of strong support from women and minorities. The lesson of his victory for both parties, but particularly Republicans, may be this: The primacy of white male voters has passed. In the modern era, it takes a diverse coalition to win the White House.

Look at the basic breakdown of Mr. Obama’s victory, according to exit polls (which may yet be revised). He won 93 percent of African-Americans, 71 percent of Hispanics, and 73 percent of Asians. He took 55 percent of the overall female vote, down only one percentage point from his comparable 2008 showing.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, won about 59 percent of the white vote. That’s the best a GOP nominee has done among whites since 1988, and not too long ago such a performance might have guaranteed a winning margin of 270 electoral votes. After all, whites still make up 72 percent of US voters.

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But that percentage has inexorably grown smaller election by election. In 2008 whites were 74 percent of the electorate. Given Obama’s popularity among minorities, Mr. Romney would have needed the support of even more whites to win – and Obama did well (or well enough) among white women, particularly single and young white women.

Romney won white men by 25 points. It wasn’t enough.

As to other lessons from the preliminary exit poll data, it’s clear that Hispanics are quickly becoming a political force that national politicians must acknowledge. They increased their share of the electorate by about three percentage points; at that pace, they’ll tie or pass African-Americans as the largest minority voting bloc in 2016.

The Hispanic vote helped produce the dead heat in Florida, for instance. That’s a state Romney needed to win to have plausible paths to 270 electoral votes, and he could reasonably have expected to do well among the state’s conservative Cuban-heritage population. But Obama performed three percentage points better among Florida’s Hispanics than he did in 2008, winning 60 percent of their votes. If he emerges as the winner there, that will be a big reason.

Winning the independent vote also no longer appears to be as important as it once seemed. Romney led Obama among self-described independents, 50 to 45 percent. That’s a turnaround from four years ago, when Obama won them, 52 to 44 percent.

But independents, like whites, were a slightly smaller share of the electorate in 2012. And a declaration of independence is not necessarily indicative of a voter’s ideology. Obama won self-declared moderates, 56 to 41 percent. Obama also took 86 percent of the liberal vote, while Romney won 82 percent of conservatives.

Does that mean 4 percent of voters who think they’re leftish voted for Romney, and 18 percent who believe they’re to the right side of the spectrum voted for Obama? It does, according to exit polls. Sometimes it’s the little numbers that are the most surprising.


By Peter Grier | Christian Science Monitor

Latinos See Obama as Best to Handle Economy.


In a presidential campaign dominated by pocketbook issues, a majority of Hispanic voters nationally say President Barack Obama is better able to deal with the country’s economic woes than hisRepublican challenger Mitt Romney, according to preliminary exit poll results.

Six-in-ten of all Latino voters (61%) named the economy as the top problem facing the country, outdistancing health care (18%), the deficit (12%), and foreign policy (6%) as voting issues. Among all voters, about an equal share named the economy (60%) while 17% named health care, 15% said the deficit, and 4% said foreign policy.

Check the ABC News Live Blog for updates throughout the day and results all night.

Latinos and other voters had somewhat different views on the hot-button issue of immigration policy. Three-quarters of Latinos (74%) said employed illegal immigrants should be offered a chance to apply for legal status while 22% said they should be deported to their home country. A smaller but still substantial majority of all voters (64%) favored a path to legal status for employed illegal immigrants while 29% said they should be deported.

While all voters shared similar concerns, Hispanics differed from other voters in their perceptions of which candidate was best able to deal with the nation’s economic problems. When asked which candidate would better handle the economy, more than six-in-ten (64%) named Obama while 35% said Romney. Among all voters, 50% favored Romney while 47% for Obama as the candidate best able to deal with the economy.

Hispanics also preferred Obama over Romney to handle the federal budget deficit (67% vs. 32%) and Medicare (65% vs. 32%). All voters split nearly down the middle: 50% preferred Romney to deal with the deficit while 46% favored Obama. On Medicare, about half (51%) said Obama would do the better job while 45% preferred Romney.

Latinos nationally also expressed more confidence in Obama than Romney to handle an international crisis. About seven-in-ten (69%) said they trusted Obama and 31% said they do not. When voters were asked the same question about Romney, 37% said they trusted him but 57% said they did not. Among all voters, 56% said they trusted Obama (43% did not) while 51% had similar confidence in Romney but 44% did not.

Latino voters were concerned with more than just policy issues on Election Day. Asked which quality mattered most in deciding their vote, a third (33%) said they were looking for a candidate with “a vision for the future” and 26% said they were looking for a candidate who “cares about people like me.” Smaller proportions said they most valued a candidate who “shares my values” (20%) while 17% wanted “a strong leader.” Among all voters, 29% wanted a candidate with vision, 28% sought someone with similar values, 20% wanted someone who cared, and 19% said they were looking for a strong leader.

Tune in to for livestreaming coverage of Election 2012.

Overall, President Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics stood at 66% in preliminary results while 32% disapproved. Among all voters, 52% approved of the job Obama was doing as president and 46% disapproved. Margin of sampling error is larger when results are based on only a portion of the sample.

These preliminary exit poll results are based on a total sample size of 1,336 Latinos and a total sample size of 15,863. Margin of sampling error for the sample of Latinos is approximately plus or minus 5 percentage points and plus or minus 2 points for the full sample.


By Richard Morin | ABC OTUS News

Road Trip: The effect of the Hispanic vote in Las Vegas may not stay in Vegas.

LAS VEGAS—This city has seen more political commercials than anywhere else in 2012, more than anywhere else in the history of presidential campaigns: 73,000 TV ads, according to The New York Times. In an election with only a handful of states that are considered up for grabs, the importance of Nevada’s six electoral votes was highlighted when President Barack Obama chose Lake Las Vegas, a golf resort east of here, as the place to spend three days preparing for the first presidential debate.

The state’s Hispanic voters are especially sought-after: According to Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, Latino voters are particularly crucial this year in Nevada, as well as in Colorado and Florida.

“As evidenced by the explosive growth among Latinos, Nevada offers a case study in the demographic changes that are transforming large swaths of the country and, in the process, reshaping the electoral map,” David Damore, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told Yahoo News. “As older white voters die out, they’ll be replaced by nonwhite voters.”

There are more than 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States. That’s a 43 percent increase in the Hispanic population in the past 12 years.

Yahoo News headed to Nevada earlier this year to find out what’s on the minds of some of the most important voters in one of the most important states of Campaign 2012.

‘I don’t want to vote for the wrong guy. But it’s really hard to find out who the wrong guy is.’

Austreberto Hernandez, known as “Asti,” will be a junior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this fall, studying political science and business management. This summer he worked two jobs, registering voters for Mi Familia Vota and working as an intern for the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation.

Hernandez and his six siblings were all born in the United States: Their father came across the border from Mexico looking for work in the 1980s and became a citizen because of the Immigration Reform and Control Act signed by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

“Ever since I can remember we would go from city to city looking for work,” Hernandez, a registered independent, told Yahoo News. “Vegas was booming in the early ’90s. It was just exploding. It was blowing out of the water. So everyone just headed here.”

‘I’m a Hispanic Republican. We’re almost a minority inside a minority.’

Omero Alexandro Garza, who goes by “Alex,” started working as a child in his family’s truck stop. He taught middle school and then worked in real estate, starting out part-time at Century 21, then eventually founding his own real estate firm before moving on to other jobs in the industry.

“Without question, the primary issue for Hispanics is the economy,” says Garza. “Immigration is near and dear to every Hispanic’s heart. It’s always going to be important to us. But more important is whether or not we have a job.”

Garza’s father came to the United States from Mexico as an undocumented immigrant. “He gained his amnesty under Ronald Reagan so it kind of just stems from there,” Garza told Yahoo News, referring to his status as a registered Republican.

His house is underwater. He says he put down $80,000 on a $400,000 mortgage for a home that is now valued at $190,000. His wife has taken a job teaching English in Abu Dhabi, so the family is in the midst of moving to another country. “I mean I don’t want to cry, but it’s difficult because this was our hopes and dreams; this is where we raised our kids,” Garza says. “It’s the only house my children have known. It’s difficult to go from stability within your family to instability and uncertainty.”

He plans to vote by absentee ballot for Mitt Romney.

‘If you look at the demographics, we are going to be the majority.’

Helena Garcia, 53, styles herself “La Protectora.” She’s a real estate broker who also co-founded Latinos in Action, a pro bono advocacy group that tries to help people who think they have been cheated.

“If I only had to do real estate I would be very unhappy,” Garcia told Yahoo News, adding that she prefers “going out into the community and seeing people’s problems and devastation.”

Garcia’s family came to Las Vegas in 1956 from Juarez, Mexico. Her father worked as a dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant. Although she’s a registered independent, she sides with the Democrats.

“In my opinion, most of the people in the Republican Party are racist and the majority of them want that more conservative view of ‘Go back to where you came from,'” Garcia says. “There is no excuse not to pass the DREAM Act when these kids are going to better our country; they are going to bring more education to our country. Most of them are fully bilingual so you bring more culture and languages to our country. There is no other reason not to pass the DREAM Act except for racism.”


By Bob Sacha & Zach Wise | The Ticket

Bob Sacha is a multimedia producer, a documentary filmmaker, a photojournalist, an editor and a teacher. Zach Wise is an interactive producer, a filmmaker and a professor at Northwestern University. Earlier this month, they talked to small-business owners along Colorado’s Colfax Avenue. In July, Bob Sacha and Miki Meek traveled to Northern Virginia to talk to Mormons about what a President Romney would mean to them. In March, they drove Ohio’s I-71 and talked to Republicans before Super Tuesday.

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