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Enthusiasm Grows Among FL Latino Voters

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July 2, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - President Obama's recent immigration policy changes are igniting enthusiasm among Latino voters, according to a recent survey. The survey found that 71 percent of Florida Latino voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting for him in November after his recent announcement allowing young undocumented workers here since they were children to apply for a work permit.

Experts such as political scientist Casey Klofstad, associate professor at the University of Miami, predict Latino voters could have a big impact on the election results, if this momentum holds.

"The question is: will that enthusiasm be translated into actually turning out the vote, and that's really going to be the question that will linger until Election Day. "

The survey was carried out by the group Latino Decisions and America's Voice Education Fund. It also found that jobs and the economy are the number-one issues for Latino voters in Florida, followed by immigration, education and health care.

Klofstad says Obama's decision to change immigration policy sends a signal to Latino voters.

"That is an act of good faith that at least President Obama, if he's put back into office, will attempt to act on these issues. The question, though, is the President is only one actor in the political system."

According to the data, 10 percent fewer Florida Latino voters say they will vote for Republican candidate Mitt Romney now than did before his unclear response about whether he would repeal Obama's recent immigration policy change and his refusal to comment on Arizona's anti-immigration law.

More information on the research is at americasvoiceonline.org.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - FL