(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.
Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Repubs. can no longer survive on Karl Rove's "Take No Prisoners" political philosophy. America, Thank God, is finally running out of Angry White Men.
No racism there no is there?
Excellent. That's where his support was 4 years ago and where it should probably be this cycle.
This is..."breaking news"? A poll that shows that Latino support for Obama is relatively the same as it was 4 years ago?
And apparently the other 30% don't read or watch the news or know
Here's the deal – Everyone needs to be sure to plan ahead. Get out and vote!
Really? This is breaking news?
Yeah, but all the people polled registered democrats, right Romney?? (...or what other distortion are you going to use to explain it?)
HAHAHAHAH not in my house!
What ever happened to secret ballot? Why do we have so many polls? Am I supposed to say "gee, I was going to vote for A, but look how many people say they want B, maybe I should vote B too?"
The worst is during the primaries where all the states don't vote together. You actually know the results before you vote.
The media loves polls because they can frame the election their way to make it more dramatic and get more viewers/listeners/readers/tweeters.
Amazing what an executive order can do for your future election. I am highly disappointed in President Obama.
That's because Obama gives them handouts and let's their families cross illegally.
I guess that Back-Door amnesty is working just as planned...
Really? Like they would vote for anything other than the "Give em everything" dems.......
Hahahhaha! New voters arriving everyday and now ID required to vote being fought in the courts under the guise of Racism?
I wonder who will win.....
NOT this Latino voter.
The economy is an important issue is because Latinos are Americans too. Work in the best interest of all Americans and Americans will vote for you. All politicians need to recognize this.
Amazing what an executive order can do for your next election!
Vice President Joe Biden told a campaign rally on Tuesday that the middle class has been buried for the past four years, just longer than President Barack Obama's time in the White House.
Republicans immediately seized on what they termed a "stunning admission" by Biden as evidence that Obama's policies have been bad for the economy, the day before Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet in their first presidential debate.
Thus, why Romney announced today that he is now flopping "FOR" Amnesty for illegals. Previously, he was "FOR" making things soooo difficult that they would all "self-deport"! This dude CAN NOT think that Americans are stupid enough to fall for his "Say whatever / Do whatever I gotta do to get elected" strategy. WOW!! Just when you thought you'd seen all the tricks up his sleeve. SMH!!
Any latino military veteran is likely getting screwed by the VA and not voting for Obama. Like me.
Of course! They all want something for free!
Can even Imagine how many just follow what they hear on TV!... if the only would stop and read and research what is best for this country!
What's the diff between "Neither" and "Other" on the pie chart?
And how many of these folks are in the 47% who pay no taxes, but take and take and take.
Of course. Contrary to popular, republican belief, Latino's are far from stupid.