In initially off-the-record comments to the Des Moines Register's editors in October, President Barack Obama said that if he won re-election, he would owe it to Latinos.
"Should I win a second term," Obama said, "a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community." Exit polls show the president's prediction was on the mark. The national exit poll estimated that about 10 percent of those who voted in the presidential election identified as Hispanic, marking Latinos' highest-ever share of the electorate. Latinos backed Obama over challenger Mitt Romney a resounding 71 to 27 percent.
Leaders of immigrant rights and Latino groups told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday that Obama owes his second term to Latino voters, and should repay them by passing comprehensive immigration reform. Obama promised to pass a law legalizing many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country while he campaigned four years ago, and he's been chastised by Latino leaders for breaking his promise.