How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Latinos' preference for Obama part of a trend as GOP loses their support

Presidential Primary Election

Grant Slater/KPCC

Pedro Rios casts his ballot in the June 5 presidential primary election at Estrada Court Community Center in Boyle Heights.

A recently released Pew Hispanic Center survey found an overwhelming amount of support for re-electing President Barack Obama among Latino voters nationwide, who favored Obama to Republican rival Mitt Romney 69 to 21 percent; there are also many more Latinos saying that the Democratic party looks after their interests than there have been in the last decade.

This move left is part of a trend that's taken place over the last several elections, as Republicans have gradually lost Latino support since George W. Bush captured a benchmark 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004.

Much has to do with how Latinos have come to perceive the two major parties' positions in terms of the issues that affect them, including the economy and immigration, says Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center. Undoubtedly, although many have been skeptical about the timing, President Obama's recent turn on immigration with deferred action - a program that allows some young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status - has helped his cause.

Lopez was in Los Angeles this week discussing Latino voters and the survey. I caught up with him yesterday after he gave a presentation at the University of Southern California, where he explained what's been happening politically with Latino voters. Listen to the interview.

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