Four Ways Latinos Helped Obama Win Re-Election
Hispanics gave Barack Obama an edge over Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race
Latinos turned out to the polls in record numbers this Election Day. For the first time, the Hispanic share of the electorate reached double digits, with Latinos making up 10 percent of U.S. voters casting ballots in the presidential race. The high Hispanic turnout on Nov. 6 gave President Barack Obama an advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney, as Hispanic Americans typically favor the Democratic Party. Here are four major reasons why the Latino vote led Obama to victory.
Latinos Widely Prefer Obama: Hispanics didn’t just increase their share of the electorate in the 2012 race, they also overwhelmingly backed President Obama over Mitt Romney. Seventy-one percent of Hispanic voters chose the president’s name at the ballot box. Why? According to a Latino Decisions poll taken on the eve of the election, 66 percent of Latinos felt that Obama truly cares about Hispanics. Only 14 percent felt the same way about Romney.
Latinos Vouched For Obama in Swing States: Obama nearly swept all of the battleground states, thanks to Latinos. In swing states such as Colorado, 87 percent of Latinos backed Obama. In Nevada, 80 percent of Latinos backed Obama. In New Mexico, 77 percent of Latinos backed Obama, and in Florida, 58 percent did.
Latinos Support Obamacare: More than 40 percent of Hispanics are uninsured, making them the ethnic group most likely to go without healthcare. As a result, Latinos widely supported the president’s Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Sixty-one percent of Latinos want Obamacare to be left in place. Moreover, 66 percent of Latinos believe government should provide access to healthcare for the public.
Latinos Want Immigration Reform: Sixty percent of Hispanics say they know someone who is an undocumented immigrant. Considering that many of these people are friends and relatives of Hispanic Americans, the candidates’ positions on immigration reform proved vital. While Obama decided in 2012 to stop deporting undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who are law-abiding citizens interested in college or the military, Romney refused to support legislation to spare this group of unauthorized immigrants from deportation. This made a majority of Latinos (57 percent) feel less enthusiastic about supporting Romney, according to the Latino Decisions poll.