Luis LaRotta knows there are less than 40 days before the presidential election. This Latino voter knows that President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have laid out most of what they are going to say before the Nov. 6 election. But the 31-year-old financier from Houston, Texas, still isn’t sure which candidate he will vote for though he’s leaning more toward Romney.
He likes Romney’s plan on job creation and agrees that creating federal programs won’t fix the economic problem. He also likes the Republican candidate’s plan to dismantle Obama’s healthcare law, saying the states, not the federal government, should be the ones that decide on whether or not to implement a healthcare mandate.
However, LaRotta disagrees with Romney’s tough stance on immigration and sides with Obama on the issue. He applauds the president’s deferred action program for undocumented youth and his support for the DREAM Act, a bill that would create a path to legalization for undocumented young immigrants.
And though he agrees with Obama that an immigration reform is crucial to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, he also agrees with Romney that the border must first be secured.
Now, LaRotta told VOXXI he is waiting to hear what both candidates say during the presidential debates before he makes his decision. The first debate is Wednesday in Colorado.
A poll released Monday by Latino Decisions shows LaRotta is not alone. An estimated 6 percent of Latino voters surveyed said they too were still undecided. The poll also found that Obama is leading Romney 73 percent to 21 percent among Latino voters.
Sylvia Manzano, a senior project manager with Latino Decisions, said that as the election nears, more Latino voters are starting to make up their minds and more are siding with Obama than with Romney.
She said recent polls show that support for Obama among Latino voters has been increasing significantly. In fact, the president has seen an 8 percent increase since August. Meanwhile, Romney’s support among Latino voters was 26 percent in August, it peaked at 30 percent during the Republican National Convention week but has since dropped to the current 21 percent.
“That’s an indication that Latino voters who were once undecided are choosing to side with Obama over Romney,” Manzano told VOXXI.
While there are many Latino voters who are still deciding between Romney and Obama, there are a few who are considering voting for the Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Raul Amavisca, an Arizona resident, is one of those few Latino voters. He told VOXXI he was undecided until he recently heard about Johnson, who is a former New Mexico governor.
He said he likes Johnson’s idea of legalizing Marijuana and believes it would help eliminate crime in the southern border. He also supports the candidate’s plan to cut funding from federal programs that are not working.
Johnson is supported by six percent of likely voters, according to a recent Reason-Rupe poll. Amayisca, who is registered as independent, knows the Libertarian presidential candidate has little chance of winning, but said he would rather vote for him than for Obama or Romney.
He said he doesn’t want to vote for Obama because he is disappointed that the president didn’t push for an immigration reform even when he had control of both chambers of Congress. At the same time, he said he has a hard time trusting Romney.
Amayisco said he wishes more people knew about Johnson, especially undecided voters who haven’t made up their minds because they don’t like either Obama or Romney.
“There’s a perception that we only have two options in this election and that if we don’t vote for either candidate, our vote will go to waste,” he told VOXXI. “But we don’t have to vote for either one of them because there is a third option. Gary Johnson is that third option.”
Amayisco also said that even if Johnson doesn’t win, having a significant number of Latino voters support the Libertarian candidate would send a message to Romney and Obama.
“It would let them know that they didn’t do enough to appeal to us and that they missed out from our vote,” he said.