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Conservative group wooing, polling Hispanic voters

Picture 25Just beneath the surface of President Barack Obama’s strong approval ratings, Republicans see signs of a chance to woo Hispanic voters and turn this influential bloc of voters to their side.

A new poll from a new Republican-leaning group called the Libre Initiative finds that Hispanic voters are unhappy with the country’s direction, pessimistic about their kids’ futures and suspicious about what government can do to foster the American dream.

“We’re getting in front of Hispanics with a different message than you’ve been hearing,” said Jose Mallea, Libre Initiative’s national coordinator.

“The Democrats want to talk about immigration, and the Dream Act,” Mallea said. “This is an effort to talk about economic freedom, opportunity, the American dream, and government over-reach.”

Mallea acknowledged that the nationwide poll for the group — which oversampled Hispanic voters in states like Florida and California — showed that Republicans have catching up to do when it comes to Hispanics.

A big reason for the Hispanic gap in Obama’s favor: The so-called DREAM Act, which seeks to give the Picture 26 best and brightest children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship for enrolling in college or the military.

Though President Obama failed to get the act passed when Democrats controlled Congress, many Republicans have opposed it outright, saying it allows for too much “amnesty” that encourages more illegal immigration.

Now, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has offered a scaled-back version that would give legal residency status — but not citizenship — to some college- and military-bound residents who aren’t legal citizens.

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Presentation here Download LibrePresentation_4102012