President Obama defeated Mitt Romney and won reelection Tuesday largely because of immigration policies that won over 71% of Hispanic and Latino voters.
Obama's performance was an improvement over that of 2008 when he won 67% of the Hispanic vote in defeating John McCain. Romney got only 27% of Hispanics after yielding to the Tea Party and the Republicans' conservative wing and campaigning against comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.
Exit polling showed Obama even won over much of the Cuban-American vote in Florida, which hasn't embraced Democrats since the Bay of Pigs. He got 47% of the Cuban-American vote in Miami-Dade County.
Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Obama and Democrats because of their support of the DREAM Act and the president's deferred action plan that allows the children of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation.
The influence of Hispanics and Latinos in this election was especially pronounced in battleground states such as Colorado, Florida and Nevada. Nationally, Hispanics make up 17% of all votes; in 2008, they were 15%.