Obama says Latino vote is key to victory, vows immigration reform in 2013

Obama won the Hispanic vote by about 2-to-1 in 2008 over Republican Sen. John McCain. In most surveys, more than 95 percent of black voters also favored Obama.

The Obama campaign’s reliance on Hispanic voters in the upcoming election was on full display Wednesday as President Obama dangled the prospect of immigration reform next year, and a top aide predicted that the country’s fast-growing number of minority voters will propel the president to a second term over rival Mitt Romney next month.

In an interview that the White House originally insisted be kept off the record, Mr. Obama told the leading Iowa newspaper that he is confident he will achieve immigration reform next year if he is re-elected, a pledge on which he failed to deliver in his first term.

“Since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt,” Mr. Obama told the editor and publisher of the Des Moines Register in a 30-minute phone call as part of a pitch for the paper’s endorsement. “Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.”

It was the latest in a series of less-than-subtle appeals by the president this year to Hispanics, whose growing clout could make the difference in battleground states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and Iowa. In the campaign’s final two weeks, the president’s political strategists are focused mainly on persuading Mr. Obama’s supporters to go to the polls, despite high unemployment rates among minorities. In polls, Mr. Obama holds a lead of more than 30 percentage points over Mr. Romney among Hispanic voters.


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