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Republicans Who Back Immigration Reform More Likely To Win Latino Vote: Poll

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) listens as U.S. Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic Robert Ford testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill April 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Ford testified on current U.S. policy toward Syria. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) | Getty

Those who’ve been saying immigration reform insults Latino voters should take a look at this poll.

A poll of Hispanic voters released Monday by Latino Decisions and immigrant advocacy group America’s Voice indicates that Latinos would be more likely to vote for a Republican presidential candidate that endoreses immigration reform.

Pollsters read a prompt explaining three prominent Republicans’ pro-immigrant positions and then asked respondents whether they would vote for them. All three of them -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush -- topped 40 percent, with Rubio scoring as high as 54 percent.

“Republicans don’t need to win the Latino vote outright, they just need to stop losing it so badly,” Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions wrote in a blog post explaining the results.

But there’s also bad news for Republicans.

When asked about several potential presidential matchups without framing the question around immigration, respondents overwhelmingly favored Democrats.

Latino voters surveyed favored former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 66 percent to 28 percent. Vice President Joe Biden won by a similar margin. Rep. Paul Ryan didn’t top 25 percent.

Some 53 percent of respondents said immigration reform is the top issue facing Congress and the president, making it the top item on the list. “Create more jobs/ fix the economy” came in second with 28 percent, followed by “education reform / schools” with 15 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,200 Latinos who voted in the last two presidential elections.

Opponents to immigration reform have in recent days embraced the position that supporting the pathway to citizenship contained in the bipartisan bill before Congress insults Latinos. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) have all made a variation of the statement within the last week.

Polling does not support their contention.

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