Technically, the following headline on Gallup's page, "Hispanic Voters Put Other Issues Before Immigration," is factually correct. However, once you really look at the data, the headline is also misleading. And that is the problem with the mainstream media and polls. It continues to try and prove that the US Latino vote does not care about immigration and that the economy and health care are more important—thus making someone like Mitt Romney more appealing to this demographic (sidenote: check out these latest numbers from Latino Decisions, where Romney—red—is just getting smoked by President Obama—blue—in key swing states with Latino voters. The only place where it is even "close" is Florida.)
Gallup/USA TODAY should have done a better job editorially with its data. Look at the numbers more closely from the poll and the findings. What the Gallup headline should have said was the following: "US Latinos Favor Obama Over Romney on Issues that Matter to Them." Or better yet, "President Obama Has a 41-Point Lead Over Mitt Romney with US Latino Voters." Here is the data.
This first graph shows where the misleading headline came from. According to the poll, healthcare, unemployment, and immigration all share equal important among Latinos, but then healthcare is first with Latino voters, then unemployment, and then immigration. The economy? Stuck in fourth among all Latinos, but third among Latino voters.
This graph shows presidential election preferences. Yes, Mitt Romney is finding favor with Latino CPAs, since he is lacking in other issues.
This is the graph that was buried in the middle of the Gallup post. You would think that this is the most important one, no?
And here is where it gets complex, and even though they use the word "nativity," it shows how certain issues have different important to different groups of people. Yes, the issues are complex but any consultant who looks at all this data and concludes that immigration is not an issue is wrong. It would have been cool if Gallup had asked the following question: Do you think that the Republican Party's immigration message match your feelings about this issue?
In the end, people can slice all the data they want, the GOP can say that immigration does not matter, but the fact remains: Obama 66, Romney 25.