President Obama has gotten Latino voters’ attention with his Friday announcement that his administration will no longer deport some young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, according to a new poll.
Obama’s new policy applies to undocumented immigrants under 30 years old who were brought to the United States before the age of 16, have been in the country for at least five years and graduated from high school, earned a GED or served in the military. The administration will begin granting work permits to those who meet the guidelines. The new policy will affect around 800,000 immigrants.
The announcement has been met with a surge of enthusiasm, according to the Latino Decisions survey. Forty-nine percent of Latino voters surveyed in five swing states said the announcement would make them more enthusiastic about Obama, compared with 14 percent who were less enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm advantage of 35 points.
“We should be clear that these two questions were not meant to gauge overall support levels for policy, but rather how policy statements on their own, could change a potential voter’s degree of enthusiasm for or against the president,” the pollsters wrote.
Data from Latino Decisions taken earlier in the year showed that more than half of Latino voters (53 percent) were less enthusiastic about Obama than they were in 2008, when he won their votes by a huge margin. The drop-off was attributed in part to the increase in deportations under Obama — to the highest level in U.S. history.
Latino Decisions interviewed 775 registered Latino voters between June 12-16 in the battleground states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia. The margin of error is 3.5 percent.