ICYMI: Mitt Romney Pledge to Veto DREAM Act a disqualifier for many Latino voters
In local contests, Marcy Kaptur’s vote against the DREAM Act may mean the difference in her contest with Dennis Kucinich
Jan. 12, 2012: Last week, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney offered a fresh reminder that his pandering to the far right on immigration during the primary season will hurt his potential general election chances.
In response to a question in Le Mars, IA, Romney pledged that he would veto a federal DREAM Act if the legislation passed Congress while he was President. His comments were widely reported in Spanish media and put the nail in the coffin of any hope Romney may have had of competing for Latino voters in the general election.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Romney’s comments about the DREAM Act will disqualify him among a large swath of Latino voters throughout the nation. Millions of Latino voters see their own children and family histories in the aspirations and ambitions of the DREAM youth and don’t take kindly to those determined to slam the doors of opportunity in their faces.
“If he becomes the Republican nominee, Romney will find it virtually impossible to reach the 40 percent threshold among Latino voters that Republican candidates need to win the White House. This will make it much more difficult for Romney to be competitive in the key swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico.”
Polling from impreMedia and Latino Decisions in February 2011 found that 85 percent of Latino voters across the political spectrum support the DREAM Act. Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions wrote that, “Looking to 2012, it is clear that immigration and the DREAM Act will still be on the minds of Latino voters…We broke out support for the DREAM Act by intended vote choice in 2012 and found regardless of how Latinos will vote, a very strong majority support the DREAM Act.
“Among Obama voters, 79 percent strongly support and 14 percent somewhat support the DREAM Act – that’s 93 percent support for seeing this bill passed among the President’s Latino base. Further, among those who say they are undecided 62 percent strongly support DREAM with 23 percent somewhat support, all told 85 percent in favor.
“Even among those who plan to vote for a GOP candidate in 2012, Republican contenders should take note, that Republican leaning Latinos also supported the DREAM Act by a big margin: 52 percent strongly support and 23 percent somewhat support, totaling to 75 percent approval of the bill.”
Candidates in local contests should, likewise, beware of the Latino vote. For example, veteran Democrats Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich are vying for victory in the Ohio March 6th primary in the re-shaped 9th U.S. Congressional District [a snake-shaped area joining Toledo, Lorain, and Cleveland). Marcy Kaptur voted against the DREAM Act whereas Kucinich voted for it—this vote may be the difference in the contest since the 9th District has considerable Latinos voters.
On the Internet: www.americasvoiceonline.org