WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest data from the impreMedia/Latino Decisions "Election Eve" poll suggests that Latino voters made a decisive impact on the Presidential race in key states across the country, according to initial Election Day analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. The NALEO Educational Fund projected that at least 12.2 million Latinos would cast ballots in this election - a historic record.
Results from the impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll provided exclusive insights into the Latino electorate this year, including Congressional and Presidential vote choice, issue priority and party evaluations. More than 5,600 Latino voters participated in the poll, residing in Ariz., Calif., Colo., Fla., Mass., N.C., N.M., Nev., Ohio, Texas and Va.
One of every five (20 percent) Latino voters polled identified as Independent, with 57 percent identifying as Democrat and 14 percent as Republican. When asked who they were supporting in this year's Presidential election, 75 percent of Latino voters stated they would vote for President Barack Obama and 23 percent indicated support for Governor Mitt Romney. Of all Latino voters polled, voters in the battleground states of Fla. (40 percent) and Va. (31 percent) were most likely to support Governor Romney on Election Day.
Only 17 percent of Latino voters in Ohio, a key state that President Obama won tonight, were planning on casting ballots for Governor Romney in this election. The 18 Electoral College votes secured by President Obama from the state of Ohio helped him secure the votes necessary to secure reelection.
"In the past three presidential elections, Latino voters played a crucial role in several states, swinging the election from George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, to Barack Obama in 2008," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO Educational Fund. "Early results are showing Latino voters are making a crucial impact in battleground states nationwide, demonstrating that the race for the White House will once again be decided by the Latino electorate."
Latino voters indicated that the economy/job creation (53 percent) was the biggest issue that needed to be addressed by political candidates this year. The second most important issue for Latino voters was immigration reform (35 percent), with 60 percent of respondents indicating that they knew someone in their lives who was undocumented. Education (20 percent) and healthcare (14 percent) rounded out the top four issues.
In the lead up to Election Day, there have been massive efforts to reach the Latino community from candidates, political parties and community organizations. The NALEO Educational Fund, along with partners of the ya es hora Ve y Vota! (It's time. Go and vote!) campaign, has implemented an unprecedented voter engagement program to provide hundreds of thousands of voters with vital information in both English and Spanish on all aspects of the electoral process; from registering to vote, to voter identification requirements, to finding their polling place.
Voters were provided with election related information through the campaign's bilingual website at www.yaeshora.info, or via our toll-free hotline at 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682). Hotline call centers were located in 11 states across the country in partnership with partner organizations, with operators available seven days a week, 12 hours a day, to answer all election related questions. More than 3,642 callers received assistance on Election Day, with more than 18,700 callers helped since October 1.
Vargas concluded, "Latinos played a key role in shaping the nation's political landscape tonight, demonstrating that they can both sway elections as voters and successfully pursue seats in Congress as candidates. According to media reports, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) is likely to win his contest for the U.S. Senate. If he is victorious, he would be the first Latino U.S. Senator from Texas."
The impreMedia-Latino Decisions Election Eve Poll included additional support and collaboration from America's Voice Education Fund, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, NALEO Educational Fund, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Univision Political and Advocacy Group. The full poll results are available at http://www.latinovote2012.com/app/#us-national-all.
About the NALEO Educational Fund
The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading nonprofit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
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SOURCE National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund