(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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Buh bye Romney, buh bye.
Romney and the GOP is just wrong for America.
Now, if Obama can only get 69% of that 70% their citizenship he will have it in the bag!
Surprise. A CNN poll with Obama having a lead over Romney. What's is next? You do not even have to show ID to vote in the U.S. Oh wait.
Can't even imagine why Romney would get 26% of the Latino vote. Are they the blind & deaf Latinos? Anyway, great for the Democrats! Obama/Biden 2012 as well as the full Democratic ticket for Congress!!!
Wow– good thing CNN put this as top headline Breaking News! Just like it did when a poll came out saying that economists support Romney.... oh wait, no that's right, that poll didn't get too much coverage...strange.
I wonder who CNN's editor's support in this election? Good thing we've got this unbiased national media outlet that makes it so hard to tell!
"Well yeah seeing as latinos will vote for whoever is more likely to give them free stuff and not prosecute their illegal relatives this makes perfect sense."
You and those like you are a blessing on the Dems and the rest of us liberals. Obama thanks you for your support and assistance securing the latino vote.
Wow...let me show you my "shocked face" cue the etrade baby....
And god forbid if we ask for ID's to prove you're a citizen...heavens no that may offend the illegal.
Hey, you mean if im here illegally and I vote for Obama I get free stuff and get to stay?
"I guess CNN wants us to think the election is over."
It is. Might as well get your hissy fits and crying over with now.
Guess the UNIVISION expose didn't mean much?? 16 dead teenagers and dozens of others, killed by weapons that the Obama Admin allowed to enter Mexico? No immigration reform in the 1st 2 yrs that Obama had control of the Gov? 15% unemployment among Latinos? Abortion on demand? Was thinking Jesus is ProLife-No?? Promoting Gay Marriage? Oh well, 4 more years of all of this is good I guess??? THINK. Not FEEL, THINK and votoLatino
And so the other 30percent lie.... go figure. Maybe there really are prospective dark skinned GOP out there.... somewhere. Nawh – pretty sure they thought you guys were Department of Homeland Security.
What is a non latino white? Some Colombian or Honduran?
This is a joke. Maybe he should promise me free money, no consequences, and I will sit back and collect and let everyone else work for what I get. If there's no reason to work, why work?
"Forward" off the cliff. I hope that people put it in "R" this November.
Simple, Bush talked about immigration reform and nothing ever happened. Obama, also talked about it and when congress did not cooperate, he did the right thing that could be done: help the dreamers to the extend his administration could. Romney talk of self deportation and other arbitrary insensible measures could not win my vote. Simple. The republicans spent money in a war we entered without real backing from major world players and the Obama administration had to clean up. Republicans spent the money and blamed the democrats. Politicians are hypocrites but I am sick of the extreme republican hypocrisy.
"thousands, maybe more, of illegal aliens will be going to the polls to vote thanks to the Democrats."
Do you have any evidence of this ever happening to back up your claim that it will happen this year? No?
Wild-eyed paranoid delusions =/= evidence
Now, who are the moróns in 26% that said they would vote for Romney? Must be the old Cuban fárts down in Florida.
See how FOX news just lost the election for Conservatives? Am I the only one that thinks manipulation on this level is bizarre.
Those 26% Cubanos need to wake up, Romney/Ryan will kick Abuelita off Medicare.
Well GOP you can go back to the 187 prop in California that basically insured that the majority of Latinos, esp (mexican) voters which are the majority within the Latino community, will FOREVER vote democrat. Bush managed it because he was in texas and had alot of latino connections but any middle aged white rich male that is running on the GOP ticket will never take that vote back...Obama is going to crush Mitt, this will be on the scale of Clinton, Bush Sr. It will be a total and complete rout, battle of bull run – Custards last stand – insert complete loss here....
Wait... This is breaking news?
Those 26% Cubanos need to wake up!! Romney/Ryan will throw Abuelita off Medicare, Despierten!
So if the election is 70% illegal voters what does that mean?
Now, who are the ones in 26% that said they would vote for Romney? Must be the old Cubans down in Florida