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Poll: Latinos Put Education Over Immigration in 2012 Campaign

A survey released this week by two organizations that favor private school vouchers and other forms of school choice shows that Latino voters are more concerned about improving the quality of K-12 education than they are about reforming immigration policies.

Like all voters surveyed, Latinos listed the economy and job creation as their chief area of concern. Latinos in the survey ranked improving K-12 education as their next top issue over budget deficit reduction, which was the second-ranked issue for all voters. Fifty-eight percent of Latinos agreed with the statement that "we need to hear more from the presidential candidates on how they will improve education," compared to 37 percent who agreed with the statement that "we need to hear more from the presidential candidates on other issues before we talk about education." The poll was conducted on behalf of two pro-school choice groups—the American Federation of Children and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options.

Reforming immigration policy fell into fifth place out of the five areas that pollsters asked respondents to rank in terms of importance for local and state governments to address. That was the case for both all voters and Latino voters.

The poll queried 750 likely voters in five Latino-heavy states: Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Nevada. The interviews were done by telephone in English and in Spanish. Many of the survey's questions centered around people's views on school choice issues, such as publicly-funded vouchers for special education students to attend private schools, and "opportunity scholarships," which are generally private school vouchers provided to low-income families.

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