(CNN) – The latest national survey of likely Latino voters shows President Barack Obama retaining a big lead over rival Mitt Romney in the key voting demographic, matching the level of support he received from Latinos in 2008.
The poll also showed a majority of Latinos said the economy was a more important issue than immigration, and indicated enthusiasm among Latinos is lower than it is among non-Latino whites.
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Obama enjoys the backing of 70% of likely Latino voters, according to the CNN/ORC International survey, slightly higher than the 67% of Latinos who voted for him in 2008. Republican nominee John McCain garnered 31% of the 2008 Latino vote. In 2004, 53% of Latinos went for the Democratic nominee John Kerry over the 44% who went for President George W. Bush, according to national exit polls.
In Tuesday's poll, Romney wins support from 26% of Latino voters questioned.
Obama's approval rating has improved markedly among Latinos since 2010, the poll indicated. He stood at 57% approval two years ago, and was at 68% in Tuesday's poll. Twenty-eight percent of Latinos disapproved of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 41% who disapproved in 2010.
When asked to rate their enthusiasm for voting on Election Day, 24% of Latinos said they were extremely enthusiastic, compared to 25% who said very enthusiastic, 24% who said somewhat enthusiastic, and 14% who said they were not enthusiastic.
Those numbers are lower than the enthusiasm figures for non-white Latinos, as measured in a CNN/ORC poll taken at the end of September. In that survey, 41% of non-Latino whites said they were extremely enthusiastic about voting in November.
A Pew Hispanic Center report released Monday predicted getting eligible Latino voters to the polls in November would provide the campaigns with a challenge. The report indicated a record 23.7 million Latinos are eligible to vote November 6, but that the turnout rate for the group in 2008 – 50% - was lower than that of black voters (65%) and white voters (66%).
In Tuesday's CNN/ORC survey, 44% of Latino adults rated the economy as their top issue, while immigration policy came in a distant second at 14%. Asked to choose between the economy and immigration, nearly three quarters of Latinos – 74% - said the economy was more important. Twenty-three percent said immigration.
Broken down by topic, 50% of Latinos said unemployment was the top economic issue facing the country. Nineteen percent named the federal deficit, and 15% said gas prices.
Large majorities of Latinos named Obama as the candidate who would better handle the issues they rate as most important – 68% said the president would better handle the economy generally, and 69% said Obama would better handle unemployment.
On immigration policy, Obama's lead was even greater: 74% said the president would better handle the hot button issue, compared to 20% who named Romney.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International with telephone interviews of 601 adult Latinos, in English and Spanish, between September 25 and October 1. The sampling error was plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for likely voters, and 4 percentage points for all Latino adults.
CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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Latinos that are legal in the USA dont realy care about the immigration. we care about the economy and America.
Well, voting in blocks is never good for democracy. I think it has more to do the color of the skin, Obama has deported illegals than any other president in the history of the country. Immigration reforms is their biggest issue yet they vote for Obama. I am an Asian, i guess I don't count that much. But among these two Romney is a better candidate for the country.
Obama is the most divisive president we have ever had. Rich against poor, black against white,
Liberal against conservative. He is always pointing the finger on who to blame. After 8 years with Bush in Office we were left with a national debt of 8 trillion. This includes the war, and the Stimulus Bush passed.
Obama doubled it in less than 4 years in office.
Mitt needs to lie more on immigration to get more votes. After his tough stand on immigration he needs now to promise amnesty all illegal immigrants if he really wants to make a dent. But we all know it will be lies to win votes. Republicans in the house did not vote the dream act.
Funny how the polls can have a 20 point swing from week to week.
Dean wrote: "Latinos love handouts"
Get lost, you stupid fool.
What stereotypical nonsense.
the other percent are rich latinos.my rich friend likes Romney.
The illegal immigration enforcement industry never made so much money than before. Dozens of detention centers have been built since Obama took office. Never have been so many immigrants deported than now. If you look into Latino TV channels such as Univision, etc., you will see cases and cases of 50-60 year old women being deported, many of them were just housekeepers, had family, etc.
Obama is being heavily supported by donations from private contractors of illegal immigrant detention facilities.
Latinos should take into account how Obama is deceiving them with his delusional speeches.
As my Chicano husband says, they're breeding us white people out. Boy, was he shocked when I let him he's considered white of Hispanic descent demographicall.y But whatever, as the President said on election night '08, he will represent 100% of the people. No 53%, 100 percent.
Everyone knows Republicans hate people who are not white.
All Hispanics fall into what Flip the Twit labels the '47% of America who hate me'.
Twit just doesn't realize that about 70% of Americans hate him ... We are smart people – we hate rich White Men that spit in our face.
They want more free stuff.
How does this surprise anyone? America can only decline further if this "politician" is re-elected. Spin it any damn way you liberals want, redistribution is totally against the grain of why this country was founded.
No Jose and Juan, Obama won't give you papers.
Don't trust CNN polling. Most of the Hispanics I know are voting GOP.
"Energy and Environmental issues" should be higher in the list – but at least it made the list.
"Obama had a chance to enact immigration reform when he held both houses of Congress. What makes people think it will be any different during a second term?"
True enough. If they maintain control over the House, the GOP/Teatrolls will block it AGAIN, just like when Obama and the dems pushed the DREAM Act last time. It truly is the height of chutzpah to intentionally cause something to fail or prevent it from happening and then blame the guy who was trying to make it happen for its failure. But hey, we're used to GOP/Teatroll hubris and chutzpah.
The 26% who support Romney must be the ones who work as his servants at one of his many mansions. "Maria, you better vote for me or I'll strap you to the roof of my car."
Would one consider Hugo Chavez a Latino?
Let's hope that Obama runs out of phones and the democratic inspired minority politics gets OLD real quick. Waking up to the fact that the minorities get top democratic billing and then get dumped as the democratic elected elite goes its merry way until the next election. None of these minorities are better off after all the programs and billions spent– We need a new direction and they need to get a wakeup call
Latinos must enjoy having spit in their face because that is all that Obama does to them. I feel soooo sorry for them because they cannot understand his ways and how he takes advantage of them and fools them. Poor latinos. they will continue to be stepped on and made fun of by this president if he should win, which I pray he won't for their sakes. He makes fun of them all the time behind their backs, behind closed doors...just like he does the illegal immigrants and all of us Americans trying to better ourselves.
I guess that is why Romney has flipped on the dream act
"Obama at 70% among latino voters". And why do you think that is?????
Obama is for Latinos, how about President Obama caring about Americans? If anyone thinks this economy is good, then they deserve the same administration in the White House.......
Now wait just a cotton pickin moment here, I thought the catholic majority was voting Romney, Arent american hispanics catholic or did they get demonized by our nasty ways?
Americans will stand with Romney