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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Immigration, Polling, Presidential, Senate » Poll: NM Latinos back drivers licenses compromise

Poll: NM Latinos back drivers licenses compromise

A poll conducted by Latino Decisions for America’s Voice showed that New Mexico Latinos back a compromise on undocumented immigrants’ drivers licenses that would include stricter requirements for who can earn a drivers license in New Mexico.

America’s Voice announced the poll results at the University of New Mexico earlier this week.

The poll highlights that when given more than just a yes or no question on the controversial issue, New Mexico Latinos will opt for the middle ground which Democrats have sought in the state legislature but Republicans in the legislature and in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration have rejected, saying they would only approve a full repeal.

The poll found that 70 percent of Latinos agreed that ” the law should be reformed so that undocumented immigrant drivers are required to be licensed, but should be subjected to stricter identity and residency requirements as well as tougher penalties for fraud” while 23 percent agreed that “undocumented immigrants should not be able to apply for a driver’s license.” The poll found that seven percent were undecided.

The poll found that Latinos back Democrats in federal races; the poll found that 69 percent said they would vote for President Barack Obama and just 24 percent said they would support Mitt Romney.

“Mitt Romney held onto an extreme anti-immigrant position throughout the primary, advocating the self-deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants, and now he has found himself 45 points behind with Latino voters and unable to compete in the state of New Mexico. There is certainly a correlation,” Patty Kupfer, Director of America’s Voice, said in the statement announcing the results.

In the U.S. Senate race, 57 percent of Latinos said they would support Martin Heinrich while 33 percent said they would support Heather Wilson.

In the U.S. House races, 60 percent said they would vote for the Democrat while 20 percent said they would vote for the Republican. There were no breakdowns on each individual Congressional District.

Much of the focus on the poll’s results came on the question of immigration and President Barack Obama’s executive order of deferred action on the deportation of young Hispanics.

When told of the action, 46 percent said they were more enthusiastic about Obama while 7 percent said they were less enthusiastic; when hearing that Romney said he would end the order if elected, 8 percent said they were more enthusiastic about Romney and 46 percent said they were less enthusiastic.

Heinrich’s backing of the DREAM Act gave almost identical numbers among Hispanics — 47 percent said it made them more enthusiastic about Heinrich and 8 percent said less enthusiastic. For Wilson, when Latinos were told she opposes Obama’s deferred action policy, 21 percent said they were more enthusiastic about Wilson and 25 percent said they were less enthusiastic.

The poll of 400 registered Latino voters was conducted between October 3 and 10 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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