It's Complicated: Latinos, President Obama, and the 2012 Election*


Direct correspondence to Sophia J. Wallace, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, 89 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901.



Assess Latino support past, present, and future for President Obama and his policies, and the role of the Latino vote in the 2012 election.


Examine Latino voting patterns, administrative decisions and legislation enacted by President Obama affecting Latinos, and Latino public opinion polls to evaluate potential support for Obama by Latinos.


Despite disappointment and anger over immigration policy by President Obama, Latinos still indicate high levels of support for him and willingness to vote for him in the 2012 elections. Obama has demonstrated his commitment to issues salient to the Latino community in addition to appointing a large number of Latinos to top-ranking government positions. The influence of the Latino vote in 2012 is dependent on voter mobilization in competitive places.


Latinos in the 2012 election could play a significant role in the presidential race but also in congressional races if they turn out in high numbers in competitive places to ensure their numbers result in influence.