It’s estimated that 24 million Latinos in America were eligible to vote in Tuesday's election – and early polls show they overwhelmingly supported President Obama’s re-election nationally and here in Colorado.
An election eve poll sponsored by Latino Decisions, a Latino polling organization, shows 87 percent of those surveyed in Colorado had voted or intended to vote for President Obama.
The most important issue for Colorado Latinos polled was the economy. However Julian Ross with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, says well over half believed the president’s stance on immigration and his support of the Dream Act were key factors in deciding which candidate to support.
“We see that Romney’s immigration position on a ‘self deportation’ made Latino voters in Colorado 68 percent less enthusiastic to vote for Romney. Had the GOP candidate been supportive of the Dream Act, 24 percent would have been more likely to vote for the GOP candidate.”
The reason Latinos came out in large numbers for Obama? According to Adrianna Quintero of the Huffington Post, it may have been a simple factor of respect.
For all the Spanish language ads targeted to Latinos, there was no disguising the disconnect. The same way the GOP aligned itself with the fossil fuel industry and polluters, so too did they stand arm in arm with the creators of the most extreme anti-immigrant policies like SB 1070, the Arizona anti-immigrant profiling law. As San AntonioMayor Julian Castro said, "They took on the most extreme position and alienated Latinos."
Latinos make up 20 percent of the voting electorate in Colorado. Julian Ross says elected politicians need to take note.
"Latino and Immigrant votes in Colorado made a difference in this election, and that community organizations like ours helped make this happen. We expect elected officials to respect these votes and respect the priorities of our communities. We’ll be watching to hold accountable our elected officials on these issues moving forward."
Both political parties heavily lobbied Latino's in Colorado this election, especially in all important suburban swing districts like Jefferson and Arapahoe counties. Both went for Obama.