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Latino Pollsters Say Runyan is in a Battleground District

Latino political action groups identify the district held by shore area Congressman Jon Runyan as one 24 Republican-held districts around the country that could be influenced by the Latino vote in the future.

A new poll released by Latino political opinion research group, Latino Decisions and America’s Voice, shows that while most registered Latino voters identified more strongly with Democratic candidates, they were also more likely to cross the political isle and vote for GOP candidates under the right circumstances.

Latino Decisions’ Principal Gary Segura, who’s a Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano Studies at Stanford University, says the issue near and dear to the hearts of Latino voters is Immigration Reform. He says “50-percent said that they would be more likely to support a House Republican candidate if there’s a vote on comprehensive reform that includes a path to citizenship.”

However, he says inaction on immigration reform garners an overwhelmingly negative public opinion from Latino voters. “If there is no vote, we have 14% of our respondents saying they have a favorable view of the GOP and 71% of our respondents saying they have an unfavorable view. If a vote is taken however, those numbers flip dramatically. 62% report having a more favorable view of Republicans and only 27% report having a less favorable view of Republicans”

Segura says they interviewed 800 registered Latino Voters living in GOP districts where demographic change and the closeness of districts suggest that Latino voters will play an increasingly important role in those districts. He says those voters were separated into two categories, mid-term or regular voters and Presidential surge voters, or voters who only cast their ballots during Presidential election races.

Segura says in general, Democrats received a 49% approval rating in general from registered Latino voters. However he says, when you add a Democrat’s support of comprehensive Immigration reform with a path to citizenship included, they saw approval numbers jump to 65%.

“So clearly Democrats choosing to hold on to a pathway to citizenship is a winning position for them among Latino voters.” However, Segura adds on the other hand, “there is definitely an opportunity for growth if the Republicans can find their way into supporting comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”

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