According to the San Diego Union Tribune, although economic concerns reduced immigration to nearly a nonissue by the time the presidential campaign drew to a close, political experts believe it was largely responsible for the record turnout of Latino voters Tuesday, 66 percent of whom supported Barack Obama.
According to national exit poll results analyzed by the Pew Hispanic Center, only 32 percent of Latinos voted for Republican candidate John McCain, in spite of the Arizona senator’s track record as a proponent of immigrant-friendly reforms. That total represents a significant drop from what George W. Bush amassed in 2004. Bush received between 40 percent and 44 percent of the Latino vote that year and 35 percent in 2000.
But the heated immigration debate that dominated headlines two years ago, when hundreds of thousands marched in San Diego and other cities demanding reforms, may have been the catalyst that sent Latinos to the polls.