Poll: Rubio Support Among Hispanic Voters Is Only One Point Ahead of Romney's

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 3 2013 9:45 AM

Poll: Rubio Support Among Hispanic Voters Is Only One Point Ahead of Romney's

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A new survey finds that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 28 percent of Hispanics would support Marco Rubio. In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney got 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Latino Decisions went into the field with a series of questions about the progress of immigration reform through Congress. The lede, according to them, is that Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Paul Ryan surge to Hispanic support over 40 percent—over 50 percent for Rubio—after this question is read.

Currently the U.S. Congress is debating a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States. Republican Marco Rubio [or Paul Ryan, or Jeb Bush] played a key role in helping to pass this bill and with Rubio’s [etc.] leadership undocumented immigrants receive legal status and a path to citizenship.

That's a pretty idealized version of the question, and theory of what could happen. What if the bill that passes has a narrower path to citizenship? What if it mostly consists of more funds and standards for border control? We already know that isn't popular with reformers, so we can assume Hispanic voters dislike that outcome, too.

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OK: So, what do Hispanic voters think of Rubio for at least trying to pass a bill? Very little!

When asked who they would support if the 2016 presidential election were today, no more than 28% supported Rubio, no more than 25% supported Ryan, and no more than 30% supported Bush.  On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton is the runaway favorite among Latinos, and would take anywhere from 66% to 74% of the Latino vote if the election were today.

But Mitt Romney, who's currently the goat of the "GOP rebranding," what with his endorsement of "self-deportation," got 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. Rubio or Ryan could completely change their rhetoric—and Rubio has made a 180 flip in the way he's talked about "amnesty" since he won his 2010 race—and make no gains whatsoever.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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