A Pew Hispanic Center poll out yesterday had bad news for Democrats counting on amnesty and Arizona to bail them out this November: Hispanics don’t seem that interested in voting and aren’t primarily motivated by immigration.
While Hispanics favor Democrats by 65 percent to 22 percent, only 51 percent of registered Hispanic voters say they plan to vote compared to 70 percent of all registered voters. Only 32 percent of registered Latino voters say they have followed the fall campaign “quite a lot” compared to 50 percent of all registered voters. Only 28 percent of Latino Democrats have followed the election that closely compared to 44 percent of Hispanic Republicans, suggesting that the Hispanics who do turn out may, pace Harry Reid, be disproportionately Republican. Hispanic Republicans are favored to be elected governor and lieutenant governor of New Mexico, governor of Nevada, and U.S. senator from Florida.
Although the New York Times suggests the problem is Hispanics are disillusioned by the immigration debate, the poll suggests actual Hispanic voters don’t care that much about the issue. Hispanics consider it the fourth most important issue after education, jobs, and health care. Among Hispanic registered voters, it only ranks fifth. Only 31 percent rated it “extremely important,” 20 points less than health care, four points less than the federal budget deficit, and only four points more than the war in Afghanistan.
The reality is that Hispanic voters have ambivalent attitudes about immigration, especially illegal immigration. In some cases, the illegals are their family members and in others they are their economic competitors. Legal immigrants and native-born Hispanic Americans sometimes take a particularly dim view of illegal immigration. As Steve Sailer points out, “The press routinely ignores this because they talk to professional Hispanic activists who are all in favor of increasing the population of Hispanics in the U.S. to boost their personal careers by giving them more putative followers to claim to be the leaders of.”