July 13, 2006

Hispanics Blame GOP Over Immigration

From the Pew Hispanic Center (h/t Rocky Mountain News):
Latinos are feeling more discriminated against, politically energized and unified following the immigration policy debate and the pro-immigration marches this spring, according to the 2006 National Survey of Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center.

More than half (54%) of Latinos surveyed say they see an increase in discrimination as a result of the policy debate, and three-quarters (75%) say the debate will prompt many more Latinos to vote in November. Almost two-thirds (63%) think the pro-immigrant marches this year signal the beginning of a new and lasting social movement. And a majority (58%) now believes Hispanics are working together to achieve common goals -- a marked increase from 2002, when 43% expressed confidence in Latino unity.

The 2006 National Survey of Latinos was conducted by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 Hispanic adults from June 5 to July 3, 2006. The survey has a margin of error of 3.8% for the full sample.

The survey shows that Latinos to some extent are holding the Republican Party responsible for what they perceive to be the negative consequences of the immigration debate, but the political impact of that perception is uncertain. Party affiliation among Latino registered voters has not changed significantly since the spring of 2004. However, the share of Latinos who believe the Republican Party has the best position on immigration has dropped from 25% to 16% in that time, with virtually the entire loss coming among foreign-born Hispanics (28% vs. 12%), who potentially represent an important and growing pool of future voters.

At the same time, the survey provides little solace for the Democratic Party, which showed no significant gains among Hispanic registered voters and which by some measures has lost some support. If anything, the survey shows that a growing number of Latinos are dissatisfied with both of the major parties.
The most telling part of this survey is the negligible gains made by the Democrats in courting the Hispanic vote by portraying the GOP, especially those in the House, as "nativist" or "racist". Apparently this voting bloc is moving toward the independent middle, suspicious of both parties--and in this instance, not buying the Dems' pandering.


The original story from the Rocky was later updated, with these quotes on the fallout affecting Democratic prospects:
Veronica Montoya, of Denver, is a ninth-generation Coloradan and a longtime Democrat, the party of her parents and grandparents.

There was never a question about her political affiliation - until now.

"I always thought the Democratic Party was the party of Latinos. I thought Democrats were for the people, the common person. I blindly voted Democrat because I thought the Republican Party was for rich people trying to protect their money," said Montoya, a 37-year-old Realtor.

"Now, the line between the Democrats and Republicans has gotten blurred."

She won't switch to the GOP, she said, but she's considering registering as an unaffiliated voter.

Dusti Gurule, executive director of the Latina Initiative Project, a nonpartisan voter registration effort aimed at Hispanic women in Denver and Adams counties, says both parties share the blame.

"Personally . . . I feel betrayed and annoyed, not just by the Democratic Party but also by the Republican Party," she said. "The Republicans came out with their mean-spirited offense, and then the Democrats took credit for what in my view is mean-spirited legislation."
Keep gloating, Dems.


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