If the GOP wants to gain votes in the Latino community, they must not only support, but pass immigration reform legislation this year, according to a Latino Decisions/impreMedia poll.
NBC Latino reported that 41 percent of Latino voters would view the Republican party more negatively if some Republicans blocked legislation even though others made steps to support immigration reform. Thirty-nine percent said their views would remain the same and 18 percent said they would look more favorably on the party.
Matt Barreto, political scientist at Latino Decisions, said, “The GOP gets no political boost for bipartisan support on the bill if Republicans sabotage it.”
However, some conservatives have said the GOP should not be focusing on gaining Latino voters through supporting immigration reform due to the fact that Hispanics are “mainly progressive Democrats.”
In another poll by Latino Decisions, 52 percent of Hispanics said they have voted for a Republican candidate at either a local, state or national level. Forty-three percent said they would be more open to voting Republican if the candidate supported immigration reform geared toward obtaining citizenship.
“While there is truth that Latinos are a more progressive constituency, the question is whether they will be tied to the Democratic party at 75 percent or whether the Republican party can return to 40 percent Latino support level in 2004,” Barreto said.