Monday, April 15, 2024

Historic Latino Support for President Obama Secures Second Term

Claiming the highest Latino support that any presidential candidate in U.S. history has enjoyed, President Barack Obama was re-elected last night with a decisive 303 electoral votes and 50.3% of the popular vote.

According to Latino Decisions exit polls, 75% of Latinos voted for President Obama, surpassing the 67% support he enjoyed in the 2008 Presidential election. As of Wednesday morning, over 116 million people voted, and President Obama has been awarded 303 electoral votes versus Governor Mitt Romney’s 206 electoral votes.

“We’ve been talking about this all year—that Obama had high support among Latinos, especially in key states—but tonight, it came to fruition.” says Matt Barreto, Co-Principal at Latino Decisions.

As previously discussed on La Plaza, the Latino vote was crucial in this election, overall and especially in battleground states, with 87% of Latinos voting for President Obama in Colorado, 77% in New Mexico, 80% in Nevada, 82% in Ohio, 66% in Virginia, and 58% in Florida.

“I take President Obama at his word, with one caveat—we have to make sure that he does what he says he’ll do,” says Gonzalez, National Campaign Director for the Campaign for Community Change. “If there is one thing we Latinos have learned, it’s that we get the respect and political power that we demand.”

According to experts who have been taking the pulse of the Latino vote throughout this election season, the strong support for President Obama displayed also a strong rejection of the policies that Governor Romney and the GOP advocate.

“Republicans’ rhetoric early in the primary, with their talks of electric fences and deportation, set them up for disaster,” says Barreto.

And despite 61% of Latinos showing support for Obamacare, Governor Romney continuously expressed his desire to repeal the Act on the first day of his would-be term, showing further disconnect with the needs and actions of the Latino electorate. Furthermore, according to the Latino Decisions exit polls, over 4 out of 10 Latino voters support raising taxes and cutting spending to reduce the deficit, while only 12% support “spending cuts” only, which is the plan Governor Romney was proposing.

“Republicans are going to have to have a real serious conversation with themselves,” says Eliseo Medina, an Immigration Reform Advocate and Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. “They need to repair their relationship with our community… they can wave goodbye to us if they don’t get right with Latinos.”

Following last night’s performance, Republicans are questioning how to win the support back from Latinos, since polling shows that Latino voters felt better-aligned with Obama on many issues, including jobs and the economy, and that the Democratic Party seemed to care about getting their votes.

“The enthusiasm of Latino voters in this election reflects not only support for Obama and his policies, but dislike for the policies of Romney and the GOP,” says Cristina Beltran, Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at New York University.

When asked to provide a reason for their voting in this year’s election, 39% of Latino voters said they did it to support Democrats, 36% said they did it to support Latinos, and only 15% said they did it to support Republicans.

“Last night, Latino voters basically confirmed what I have been saying since the election cycle began: don’t underestimate them, says Julio Ricardo Varela, Founder of Latino Rebels. “And if you want to earn their vote, you better understand them.”

NBC Latino
Fox News Latino