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  1. #1
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    Apr 2006

    Pew Hispanic Cntr:Immigration Far Eclipsed by the Economy

    See source for included charts and graphs
    Pew Hispanic Center

    Hispanics and the New Administration: Immigration Slips as a Priority

    by Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Gretchen Livingston, Senior Researcher, Pew Hispanic Center
    January 15, 2009

    A year and a half after a lengthy, often rancorous debate over immigration reform filled the chambers of a stalemated Congress, the issue appears to have receded in importance among one of the groups most affected by it -- Latinos.

    Only three-in-ten (31%) Latinos rate immigration as an "extremely important" issue facing the incoming Obama administration, placing it sixth on a list of seven policy priorities that respondents were asked to assess in a nationwide survey of 1,007 Latino adults conducted from December 3 to December 10, 2008 by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

    The top-rated issue among Latinos is the economy; 57% of Hispanics say it is an extremely important issue for the new president to address. Education, health care, national security and the environment all also rate higher than immigration as a policy priority among Hispanics, while energy policy ranks lower.

    Latinos, who make up 15% of the U.S. population, are by far the nation's biggest immigrant group. According to Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2006 American Community Survey, more than half (55%) of Latinos ages 18 and older are immigrants, and 47% of all immigrants ages 18 and older are Hispanic. Even at the apex of the congressional debate over immigration reform in 2007, however, the issue never rose to the top of Latinos' priority list. Of six issues asked of Latinos in a 2007 Pew Hispanic Center survey1, it ranked fifth. But back then, 38% of Hispanics judged immigration to be an extremely important issue -- more than the 31% who say the same thing in the new survey.

    Moreover, in an open-ended question on this latest survey, just 6% of Latino respondents who voted in the 2008 election cited immigration as the issue that mattered most to them as they went to the polls. Five times as many named the economy (31%). Higher shares also named candidate attributes (14%) and a general desire for change (13%). In last year's presidential election, Latino voters supported Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden over Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin by more than two-to-one -- 67% to 31%.2

    The immigration issue has fallen in importance since 2007 among the general population as well. While 56% of all registered voters cited immigration as a very important issue in 20073, this share fell to 49% in late 20084.

    The latest Pew Hispanic Center survey also explored attitudes among Latinos about the incoming Obama administration and the outgoing Bush administration, and it examined a range of political activities that Latinos engaged in during the historic 2008 presidential campaign. Among its other key findings:

    In last year's presidential election, Latino voters were more than twice as likely as voters in the general population to be first-time voters -- 21% versus 8%. Among Latino voters ages 18-29, 47% were first-time voters.

    Hispanics are optimistic about the incoming Barack Obama administration. More than seven-in-ten (72%) say they expect Obama to have a successful first term.

    More than half (54%) of Latinos say that the failures of the Bush administration will outweigh its successes. In comparison, 64% of the U.S. general population holds the same view.

    About three-fourths (74%) of Latinos say they were more interested in last year's presidential election than in the 2004 election.

    Three-in-four (75%) Latinos say they were satisfied with the field of presidential candidates in 2008.

    Overall, 83% of Hispanic voters say they learned enough from the campaigns to make informed choices.

    Almost four-in-ten (38%) Latinos say they were contacted and encouraged to register to vote or to get out to vote.Among Latinos contacted in the 2008 election campaign, 59% say they were contacted by the Obama campaign, while 43% say they were contacted by the McCain campaign.

    Television was the most popular conduit of news about the 2008 presidential campaign among Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (82%) report obtaining most of their election news through television. Eighteen percent used newspapers to get most of their election news, 18% used the internet for most of their news, and 10% of all Latinos obtained most of their campaign news through radio. In addition, 21% of respondents report getting at least some election news from the internet.

    Almost one-quarter (23%) of Latinos who obtained campaign information from television report that the information was in Spanish, while one-third (33%) got their television news in English; 44% obtained television news about the election in both languages.

    More than half (51%) of Latinos say they participated in at least one political activity other than voting during the 2008 election season. More than one-third (36%) say they used the internet to research a candidate; 26% tried to persuade someone to vote for or against a particular party; 18% say they displayed material or wore clothing related to a political campaign; 11% say they attended a political or campaign-related event; 9% say they contributed money to a candidate; and 5% say they volunteered or worked for a political candidate.

    Forty-four percent of Hispanics say that the recent election has made them more likely to participate in politics in the future.

    This report is based on two bilingual telephone surveys. The first, the 2008 National Survey of Latinos, Economics and Politics, is a nationally representative sample of 1,540 Hispanics ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted from November 11 through November 30, 2008. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

    The second survey, the Pew Hispanic Center 2008 Politics Omnibus, was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,007 Latino respondents ages 18 and older, from December 3 through December 10, 2008. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For a full description of methodologies for both surveys, see the full report.

    Read the full report at ... a-priority
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    But also read the final paragraph of this WP story.

    Economy, Not Immigration, a Top Worry of Latinos

    By N.C. Aizenman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, January 16, 2009; Page A02

    The immigration issue has receded in importance for Latinos amid their mounting alarm over the economy, according to a nationwide poll released yesterday by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

    Only 31 percent of Latinos surveyed cited immigration as an "extremely important" priority for the incoming Obama administration, ranking the issue behind not only the economy but education, health care, national security and the environment.

    By contrast, 38 percent of Hispanics judged immigration "extremely important" in a similar poll taken in December 2007, several months after an unsuccessful proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system and offer illegal immigrants a path to citizenship sparked rancorous debate in Congress.

    Even then, immigration was ranked only fifth on a list of six possible priorities for Latinos, who make up 15 percent of the population and include both new arrivals and people whose roots in the United States stretch back generations. What has changed most is Latinos' focus on the economy: Fifty-seven percent now cite it as "extremely important" compared with 43 percent in the December 2007 poll.

    Similarly, according to the current poll, 31 percent of Latino respondents who voted in the presidential election said the economy was the issue that mattered most in their decision. Only 6 percent cited immigration, about half the number that cited "candidates' attributes" or "a general desire for change."

    Mark Hugo Lopez, co-author of the survey released yesterday, cautioned that the results might reflect Latinos' increasing concern with the economy rather than mounting apathy over immigration. He noted that 75 percent of Hispanics reported that immigration should be at least a "very important" priority for president-elect Barack Obama, and 88 percent cited it as at least "important."

    To read the report, go to ... 02310.html
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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