Latino and Immigrant Votes Likely Crucial to Obama’s Victory

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Suman Raghunathan, FI2W consultant

Over 63-million Americans voted for Barack Obama yesterday to be the nation’s 44th President, giving him a 53% to 46% victory over John McCain.

Pundits are saying that Obama’s historic victory hinged on suburban white voters turning out for him, on older white women, and overwhelming levels of support from immigrant voters. Certainly many of these voters were Latino – according to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), record Latino voter turnout nationwide in early voting was crucial to Obama’s victories in Virginia and Florida. NALEO is projecting over 9.4 million Latinos voted yesterday, and according to CNN News, 66% of Latinos supported Obama.

As we’ve written before at Feet in 2 Worlds, immigrant voters also include many other communities – particularly in the ‘salad’ of immigrant groups living in New York City.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund also saw large numbers of Asian American voters cast their vote yesterday. But what about immigrant voters as a whole?

Stay tuned for more details tomorrow on how these immigrants voted from the New York Immigration Coalition’s New Americans Exit Poll. Run by Barnard Political Science Professor Lorraine Minnite, the poll, the nation’s first and longest continuing effort to ask immigrant voters how and why they voted, reached 2500 voters at 32 polling sites in all five NYC boroughs. In addition to asking respondents the usual exit polling information about themselves – including if they were voting for the first time – the poll also will have information on the top issues that determined immigrants’ voting decisions, how they feel about the federal financial bailout, and any problems they encountered while voting.

We’ll have more details and analysis on immigrant voting patterns soon.

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