This morning, Politico's Mike Allen teases what he calls "this cycle's biggest survey of Latino voters" and says it has "sobering findings for Dems." The poll by Spanish-language TV network Univision found the Hispanic electorate is far more conservative and wary of Obama's big spending priorities than has been previously acknowledged. The most eye-popping part of the survey results: A plurality, 43%, of Hispanic voters called themselves conservative.
Far from a voting segment who only cares about immigration, as they are often portrayed in the media, Hispanics care about the same issues other voters are concerned about. As Allen notes:
"The point to the campaigns is that Spanish-language ads can be run on the candidates' primary message — it doesn't have to be a separate Hispanic track."
Perhaps the best news for conservative candidates is Hispanic swing voters' issue matrix is more in line with the GOP than the Democrats. Per Allen:
Get this: For SWING Latino voters, the top concern was "the federal gov't in DC is wasting too much of our tax money," just ahead of education, Medicare, deficit, "family values are in decline" and jobs. Their top issues mirror the top issues of other swing voters: "illegal immigration is out of control" was cited by 14%, compared with 17% for "politicians aren't serious about real immigration reform" (participants could give multiple answers).
The Hispanic population in Colorado has grown by over 40% in the last decade, and will be key to the Presidential race in 2012.
Resurgent Republic polled Colorado Hispanic voters from Sept. 6-10 and found similar results to Univision. That poll, done in conjunction with the Hispanic Leadership Network, found that 40% of Hispanics in Colorado consider themselves conservative to only 29% who deem themselves liberal.
The warning sign to the GOP is that while Hispanics in Colorado overwhelmingly identify as conservative, they identify with the Democrats three to one. The silver lining is that Hispanic Independents disapprove of Obama 49-48, leaving a large slice of the electorate up for grabs in 2012.
For Obama, who took the Hispanic vote in Colorado 61-38 in 2008, any degradation of that vote will have serious implications for his re-election chances.
The Univision and Resurgent Republic polls demonstrate that there is no single Hispanic voting bloc that will move en masse on a single issue. Instead there is a complex and diverse electorate that will need to be persuaded on the same issues the rest of the electorate cares about: government spending, jobs and taxation.
For Democrats who thought running Spanish-language ads on immigration was enough to get by, times have changed. 2008's pro-Obama chant of "Si Se Puede" (Yes We Can) has been replaced by "Basta Ya Impuestos" (No More Taxes). Now that is change we can believe in.