If the elections were today, President Barack Obama would have 70 percent of the Latino vote, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll.
The CNN poll asked 601 Latino voters (registered voters and likely voters) questions on how they would vote in the 2012 presidential election. One of the questions was, “Who would you be more likely to vote for—Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats, or Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republicans?”
Obama and Biden got 73 percent of the vote from registered voters and 70 percent from likely voters.
The poll is based on 462 interviews with registered voters and 328 interviews with likely voters, both who describe themselves as Latino.
Latino respondents also had a high approval rating for Obama’s performance as president: 68 percent approve of how he is handling his job as president while 28 disapproved, and 4 percent had no opinion. Obama’s approval rating is up from 57 percent for the same question in a 2010 CNN poll.
According to the poll, 44 percent of Latino respondents believe the economy is the most important issue facing the country today, up from 34 percent for the same question in a 2010 CNN poll. Immigration policy was second with 14 percent, as well as education, also with 14 percent, and health care 11 percent.
Between the economy and immigration policy as the most important issue today, 74 percent said the economy.
When respondents were asked to narrow down the most important issue today in regards to the economy, 50 percent said unemployment, 19 percent the federal budget deficit, 15 percent the price of gas and 8 percent mortgage issues.
Latino respondents were also asked which candidate, Obama or Romney, would be better to handle these issues as president.
According to the poll, respondents said:
- Economy: 68 percent Obama, 28 Romney
- Immigration policy: 74 percent Obama, 20 percent Romney
- Education: 77 percent Obama, 20 percent Romney
- Health care: 74 percent Obama, 21 percent Romney
- Federal budget deficit: 61 percent Obama, 31 percent Romney
- Unemployment: 69 percent Obama, 25 percent Romney
- Mortgage issues: 66 percent Obama, 27 percent Romney
Latino vote could have major impact this election
With as many as 24 million Latinos eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election, the Latino vote may be the deciding factor. There are also about 60,000 Latinos who become eligible to vote every month.
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien of “Starting Point” will report on how Democrats and Republicans are appealing to the Latino vote, specifically in the swing state of Nevada—a state with the fastest-growing Latino community in the nation. O’Brien’s one-hour documentary, “Latino in America: Courting Their Vote,” will air Sunday, October 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET and 11:00 p.m. PT on CNN.
O’Brien will interview Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Hector Barreto, chairman, The Latino Coalition and one of the chairpersons for “Juntos Con Romney,” Nevada State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, (D-Clark County) and GOP activist Cecilia Aldana.
Watch video of o’Brien’s special on courting the Latino vote