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Hispanic voters' support for Democratic candidates waned in August and September. As a result, Hispanics in September favored Democrats by a 13-point margin (51% to 38%), compared with 32-point margins in June and July.

That's the price Democrats are paying for failing to address key immigration issues.

In July 2008 the candidate Barack Obama made a pledge to Hispanic voters.

“For eight long years, we have had a president who has made all kinds of promises to Latinos on the campaign trail, but failed to live up to them in the White House,” Obama told a Washington convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “We need a president who isn’t going to walk away from something as important as comprehensive [immigration] reform when it becomes politically unpopular. That’s the commitment I’m making to you ... and I will make it a top priority in my first year as President.”

Sure enough, in November that year Latinos turned out in record numbers, voting overwhelmingly 2:1 for Obama, accounting for 9 percent of the electorate.

Yeah, two years later, not only have Democrats failed to even VOTE on wildly popular Comprehensive Immigration Reform (among all groups), but deportations are up since Obama took office.

Gallup isn't the only person finding this precipitous collapse in Democratic support. Pew, also:

In January [2010], 71% of Hispanics approved of Obama’s job performance; that figure has slipped to 58% in the new survey. Over the same period, the proportion of Hispanics who disapprove of his job performance has risen from 18% to 33%.

Remember, the issue here isn't even that immigration reform didn't happen. It's that Democrats didn't even fight for it. Obviously, Harry Reid loves to whine about 60 votes, but why not have a vote anyway, and wave the GOP "no" votes in the face of Latino voters this campaign season? Make their hostility to reform and brown people a cornerstone of their campaigns.

Instead, Obama and the Democrats look weak, disengaged, and aloof on the number one issue facing a key constituency in the Democratic electoral coalition. It hasn't just been bad policy, but disastrous electoral strategy as well.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:52 AM PDT.


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