On the heels of President Obama’s executive order granting two-year renewable amnesty protections to young illegal immigrants, many Hispanics in Arizona believe the president actually has a chance to win the state, a hotbed for radical Republican ideas.
While Arizona has received plenty of notoriety in recent years for measures such as the one that requires all law enforcement to check on the legal status of any Arizona resident they feel warrants suspicion and for Gov. Jan Brewer calling Obama “arrogant” and sticking a bony finger in his face, it would be the height of irony of Latino voters banded together and handed the state to the Democratic president.
A new poll by Latino Decisions cited Arizona as one of the key battleground states where the president’s executive order has significantly improved his standing among Hispanics, who make up 12 percent of the electorate. Another poll by Project New America showed Obama trailing Mitt Romney in early June—before his immigration announcement—by 3 points, helped by a move to the president’s camp by many Arizona independents.
“The president solidified Latino voters 100 percent, and energized the community to work hard to elect him,” Steve Gallardo, a state senator, told the Daily Beast. “Now at least the president is able to show Latinos he’s in their corner.”
“Obama did the right thing,” said Tony Valdovinos, who is walking the streets of Phoenix this summer trying to register more Hispanics to vote. “I feel really amazing about this. I feel hopeful.”