Election day is just one day away, and political analysts predict support for Democrats among Latino voters wont be as strong during Tuesdays elections as it was in past elections. They say thats because Latinos are less enthusiastic to turn out to vote for Democrats this year.
This comes as the Democratic Party is battling to hold on to a majority in the Senate.
Matt Barreto, co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions, said Monday in an interview with MSNBCs Morning Joe that Latinos still favor Democrats over Republicans. However, he said his group has found that the Democratic Partys popularity among Latinos is waning.
One of the things were finding is that theyre not necessarily breaking more Republican, theyre breaking less Democrat, Barreto said, referring to Latinos.
A study from the Pew Research Center backs Barretos claim.
Released last week, the study shows 57 percent of Latinos support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district or lean Democratic. Thats down from 2010, when 65 percent of Latinos supported Democrats. At the same time, the study shows 28 percent of Latinos favor the Republican candidate or lean Republican, up from 22 percent in 2010.
Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions, joined Barreto in the Monday interview with MSNBCs Morning Joe. He said one of the reasons why Latinos are less enthusiastic about voting Democrat during Tuesdays midterm elections is because they feel Democrats, especially President Barack Obama, have been dragging their feet on immigration.
After the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to take up the Senates bi-partisan immigration reform bill, Obama said he would use his executive powers to extend deportation relief to some of the nations 11.3 million undocumented immigrants. The president promised he would act by the end of summer, but he later broke that promise amid pressure from Senate Democrats who urged him to wait until after the Nov. 4 elections.
Seguro said Obamas decision to delay action on immigration is certainly going to hurt Democrats in these midterm elections, particularly in places like North Carolina where the president delayed action in order to help Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan get re-elected.
If you are Latino and youre trying to gin up that enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and you feel like youve had promises broken to you, then when you have to get up early on election day or leave work early or go stand in line the enthusiasm just isnt there, Seguro said.
Republicans arent looking too good among Latino voters either, according to Barreto and Seguro. They said that though many Latinos describe themselves as conservative, the rhetoric and hostility coming from some Republicans is pushing Latinos away.
You dont really say well, Im really conservative so Im going to vote for this guy that wants to deport my parent, Barreto said. He added that education is an issue through which Republicans can make inroads with Latinos because lots of Latino families are stuck in really poor schools.
When asked what predictions they have for the midterm elections, Seguro said he predicts theyll be at least one instance where Latino voters will help save a Democrat who otherwise wouldve lost the election. He said this is more likely to happen in Colorado, a state where Latinos make up 14.2 percent of eligible voters and where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is in a tight race to get re-elected.
Seguro also said he predicts there will be at least one instance where a Republican candidate who has reached out to Latinos will do better than expected.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund projects that out of the record 25.2 million Latinos who are eligible to vote this year, an estimated 7.8 million Latinos will cast their ballots. Thats up from 6.6 million Latinos who voted in the 2010 midterm elections.