Shock poll: GOP wins Obama voters with immigration reform

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The Republican's $10 million plan to reach out to Hispanic voters before the next presidential election could go a lot easier if the GOP backs immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers, according to a new poll.

Just a few hours after the Republican National Committee unveiled its plans, the polling group Latino Decisions found that 32 percent of Latinos would "more likely vote Republican" if the GOP follows the pathway plan, like one pushed by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. But if the GOP presents a hurdle, then 39 percent said they would be less likely to support Republicans.

Still, the immigration plans before the House and Senate won't move the near majority of Latinos, most of whom voted to reelect President Obama. An average of 48 percent said that the plans won't change their view of the Republican Party.

But, said Gary Segura of Latino Decisions, there "is room for electoral growth for the Republicans." The proof: 26 percent of "Obama voters," would turn Republican if the pathway to citizenship were OK'd; 35 percent of independents would vote GOP; and 38 percent of younger voters, 18-29 would also support Republicans.

One other highlight of the poll provided to Secrets: 63 percent of the 800 Latino register voters polled said they knew an undocumented immigrant.

The key immigration reform questions from the poll are below:

1. Right now there are four Democrats and four Republicans in the U.S. Senate who are working together on an immigration reform plan that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. If the leaders of the Republican Party work hard to help get this bill passed with Republican votes, would that make you more likely to consider voting Republican in the future, less likely to consider voting Republican, or have no effect on your vote in the future?

More likely to vote Republican......32 percent

Less likely to vote Republican......13

Have no effect on my vote......49

Don't know......6

Refused......1

2. Right now there are four Democrats and four Republicans in the U.S. Senate who are working together on an immigration reform plan that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. If the bill passes the U.S. Senate, but then gets defeated because Republicans in the House of Representatives vote it down, would that make you more likely to consider voting Republican in the future, less likely to consider voting Republican, or have no effect on your vote in the future?

More likely to vote Republican......8 percent

Less likely to vote Republican......39

Have no effect on my vote......47

Don't know......6

Refused......1