(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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Romney is up a creek without a paddle.
Obama is gonna get women, blacks, Latinos, college kids, liberals, and old people, worried that Romney is gonna trash Medicare.
Romney is gonna get white banker execs and white hicks. That's it! That's why the GOP is trying to lock people out of the voting booth. He's done, and he knows it......
i am 100% latino and i am voting for the other guy, not a second term on "hope and change". American first before immigrants. stand in line take the test and be american citizens the right way.
There is ALSO a large number of professional and educated Latinos... not all Latinos agree with government handouts or have sympathy for those who cheat the system.... JUST LIKE there blacks living on handouts there are also whites... You can't judge us all... I am voting for OBAMA.. b/c there is NO WAY I could support a party that supports a crazy woman like Jan Brewer... I do believe that times have changed for the Republicans.. and I dont think they are keeping up with the times... While I do have some conservative values and point of views I would in the future with the right candidate vote for a Republican and very much considered voting for McCain untill he elected Palin ..... but anyways.... To all my Latinos reading this... lets strive to show a great example.. to change the negative steretypes that hang over us... and to not "take over", but adapt to this great nation.. I am a proud Peruvian American.. signing off...
Its a CNN poll, even if it was in favor of Romney they would lie and post false articles and announcements of how it favors Obama.
70% support among Latinos? That is a HUGE SURPRISE. Seriously...I'm blown away. *eye roll*
These 70% illegal jokes on here are completely disrespectful and stereotypical, kind of like the Arizona law.
This race is over. Romney can't win with <30% Latino support, nor can he win without Ohio, a state in which Obama is way ahead. But by all means let's pretend it's a "statistical dead heat" for one more month.
I'm latino, and I support Gary Johnson.
Hmmm, I guess latinos came over here for NOTHING. If the DIMS have their way, we will be a socialist wreck of a country by the time the next election comes along. The gravy boat is empty folks! We need a businessman in Washington. It is the ONLY chance we have on becoming solvent as a nation again!!!
Well duh. You give certain groups free stuff and promise them thing exclusively and they will vote for you. Democrats buy votes appealing to minority groups. Republicans get crucified for trying to pander to America as a whole. What's wrong with this picture?
If we're not going to require people show ID to vote, then how about a tax return?
Voter fraud allegations are a smoke screen Right-Wingers use when they see the writing on the wall.
Their era has passed away, leaving us this recession. Good night, Right-Wingers. Good riddance, I say.
How can the Latinos be so stupid! I don't believe it. Latinos are hard-working folks who show us all an example of the success that hard-work usually brings. They wouldn't support a slacker-lover like Obama, would they?!
They say the economy is their biggest issue and they want to rehire Obama? Do people read?
What is obamas plan? Another stimulus to add more debt on our backs. Familys making 40-60k next year will be taxed 2k more under obama.
Also Obama has already out spent alll eight years of the Bush admin! Bush spent 4.89 trillion in 8 years. Obama is at 5.1 trillion in 3.5!
Learn to read people!
The legitimate vote process is gone. What this does do is create a larger pool of Obama debt sharer's. Right........
Conservatives never offer any proof of large scale voter fraud. However, if there was,it's interesting that the conservatives had no problem with illegal immigrants voting for Bush in 2000 and 2004! GOP had 8 years to do something and didn't – now it's Obama and the Dem's problem? No wonder they call you right wing nuts!
dynamite you are a joke. romney is going to win. the polls are not reporting accurate. the silent majority independants that usually vote for the new guy will make the difference.
The relentless march towards brownness is irreversible.
Apparently CNN missed the Univision interview with Obama and subsequent report on Fast and Furious. The Latino community is not happy that Obama sent 2,000 guns down to Mexico which in turn killed their teenagers is a massive slaughter. Yes Latinos are blaming Obama, not just me. Wake up people this media bias is sickening and full of lies. This current administration is the equivalent of the OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson trials. Just keep lying as long as you have the people’s support it will all be OK.
Republicans have a short memory since they do not remember Reagan giving amnesty.
WRONG!!! I know lots of Latinos who WON'T vote for him.
Obama needs to continue courting the Latino voting bloc on his bid to win the white house again. Romney hasnt faired well with immigration reform and,he seems clueless as to providing sound immigration policy.
I' m a Latino and don' t approve this poll. They never asked me.
I am a Cuban/American living in Miami, which is surrounded by many "Cubans" who have drank the Republican 'Kool Aid". It is amazing how we (Cuban Americans) can be so enamored with the GOP??? Although that is deffinetly changing when I hear the folks at Cuban/American radio station WAQI, and how they villify President Obama is juat amazing. One reminder the Republican party always comes out on the side of anti immigration and yes when the Cuban adujustment act was passed in congress it recieved very little support from the GOP!!