(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
Why is this in the "Breaking News" banner while at the same time the top item in the ticker column?
The partisan cheerleading of any "news" outlet is harmful to us all in that it filters the news in ways destructive to the electorate's ability to make a reasonable & rational decision.
We desperately need CNN to be an impartial observer and reporter of the issues important to us all. Although I don't see it happening anytime soon, I do hope they find a way to becoming a responsible news organization again.
Noel Canales wrote: "this garbage. why is cnn, msnbc, and other media outlets not reporting the big strories. Our abasasor was killed and the the claim is that they requested more protection earlier and it was denied. CNN drops the ball again! go to http://www.foxnews for real news, not garbage"
There was a recent report that said that Fox News viewers knew less about the world than people who did not watch ANY news outlet!
They obviously know less about SPELLING, too.
Not surprising. If they're anything like the latinos I work with they're pretty narrow minded and easily influenced by scare tactics
Gee, I wonder why...?
All the GOP fear mongering has FAILED. Immigration is a big issue and they have LOST IT.
cant wait for the debate. its going to be real. wake up america, its burning here. price of goods all going up and i paid $4.01 per gallon for regular gas today. Obama you are finished. worst president ever. cant get re-elected on hope and change, fool us one, fool us again......i think not.
President Obama has my vote. Romney only represents Corporations and the Wealthy. Romney wants to start another war, and guess who fights it? Yes, that's right... the 47%.
What else is new?
If 70 percent of Latino's support this president then i'm afraid they will go by the wayside, just like the black community- victims and people who need a constant handout. That goes for many other Americans... who have become become brain washed into believing that government is the answer to starting a business, or putting food on your table. Pathetic is the word for you Latinos if you vote for this big government nanny President. You don't need government to help you. The sooner you learn that fact the better off you will be.
I absolutely agree! Romney is only going to get the gun slinging (worry about gun control) and the rich beyond belief (only <=1%) He's finished! Florida is going blue as well as Ohio. I smell a landslide coming
I remember a Time magazine article talking about whomever wins the latino vote wins the election. If that's the case, then President Obama has this election in the bag. I'm not one for labeling a certain body of the country as a political voting block, but the Latino vote has definitively gone to Obama.
Romney can't lose 70% of the Latino vote and 98% of the black vote and still win the election. He would need over 60% of the white vote. That won't happen. If he can't improve on McCain's 31% from 2008, the math is very difficult for Romney.
Four more years for President Obama.
I laugh myself to death reading all the GOP trolls commenting.......tons of misspells, one even said he was living in the barro (it's Barrio btw, sure you do !!!), it's fun to see all those headless chickens running around trying to do what? nobody knows, as said they are headless chickens......just wait till the rich founders of Romney start realizing it and pull the plug. Bye, bye GOP the history dustbin awaits for you. haaaaa, thanks for the laughs, really needed them.
Remember, all the hispanic people eat, consume, and keep the economy going. They also pay taxes on what they buy, as opposed to the wealthy corporations who don't pay taxes.
Those of you who think you can fool us by calling them "illegal immigrants" while ignoring the fact that our longest border is with Canada don't fool us. You're just doing a bad job hiding your racism and xenophobia.
Of course he does. Because he and his liberal buddies keep making it where the illegals can vote.
Noel wrote: "We need a businessman in Washington. It is the ONLY chance we have on becoming solvent as a nation again!!!"
This is a nonsense talking point for morons.
Hoover, Carter and George W, Bush were successful businessmen. Look what happened.
Being President of the United States and making money for a commercial venture is NOT the same skill set!
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?
We don't believe your polls CNN! Please quit feeding us your BS dichotomy because "Neither" and "Other" are not real people who are running for President. Gary Johnson is real and really running. How about a special report on the former governor of New Mexico whose message actually resonates with American Values???
obama will get most of the imigrant vote, blacks, etc. However one problem. Most of thoses can't vote or will not even show up to vote. So does that make sense. Educated latinos will vote for romney. and the silent people that do not want their liberal friends knowing that they are voting for romney will turn out hight numbers. too bad there is not a pole on if you are secretly voting for Romney.
U.S. diplomats in Libya repeatedly asked the Obama administration for more security in Benghazi in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate but were "denied these resources," and people will still turn a blind eye to Obama.
Obama is for everybody: the upper class, the middle class, the lower class, and even those with no class (Republicans), so Latinos are in good company. Here 's a question for those who accuse Obama of raising the deficit to US$16 trillion, with US$5 trillion coming over the last four years: If the debt is now US$11 trillion when Obama took over and it is now US$16 trillion, then wasn't George Bush a bigger culprit in his eight years than Obama in his four years, given that there was a surplus when Bush took over from Bill Clinton? Ergo, Bush racked up an US$11 trillion deficit but Republicans are accusing Obama of racking up US$5 trillion, most of which was to keep America afloat?
obama on track to be removed from office by the largest margin in history!
What's the best way to win a vote? Promise them free stuff...drugs, alcohol, phones, housing... But there is a day of reckoning ahead of us. And these same people will be the most affected when the government can't support them any longer
So Latinos are worried about the economy the most, yet they want to vote for the guy who has done absolutely nothing to fix it, and in fact has gotten worse since he took office? That's terrific logic...