Pew Hispanic poll: immigration far eclipsed by economy
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57%: The economy
43%: National security
33%: The environment
20%: Energy policy
Note that two surveys were conducted, and all adults Latinos were eligible. Thus, the persons answering that question could be Puerto Ricans, native born Mexican-Americans, legal immigrants, illegal aliens, or so on.
Further, voters (presumably citizens) were asked "What one issue mattered most to you in deciding how to vote for president?" They were not given a choice of responses. Only 6% named immigration, behind the economy/jobs (31%), "change" (13%), Iraq (7%), and "candidate attributes" (14%). No one appears to have named Sarah Palin as a reason one way or another. Only 2% named Bush, and only 1% named things related to the Republican party.
None of the above is very favorable to those who support massive/illegal immigration, so NC Aizenman of the Washington Post supplies the orthodoxy (link):
Still, Mark Hugo Lopez, co-author of the survey released today, cautioned that the current results may reflect Latinos' increasing concern with the economy more than mounting apathy over immigration. He noted that 75 percent of Hispanics reported that immigration should be at least a "very important" priority for President-elect Barack Obama, and 88 percent cited it as at least "important."Hacks are funny.
Lopez also said the current poll did not necessarily disprove the impression of many analysts that the Republican Party's opposition to the legalization plan contributed to Obama's two-to-one victory over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among Hispanics. Although previous polling indicated that registered Latino voters had more confidence in Democrats' ability to manage the economy, a September poll by the Pew Hispanic Center also found that 55 percent of Latino registered voters believed Democrats had more concern for Hispanics, compared to 6 percent who cited Republicans.
"We don't have any evidence to be able to tease out the independent effect of immigration [on the election's outcome]," said Lopez. "There are several possible scenarios there and I don't think our survey allows us to tease them out."