Latinos are more enthusiastic about voting than they were just 10 weeks ago and President Barack Obama is on track to win the largest share of Latino voters in 16 years, according to the latest Latino Decisions/impreMedia tracking poll.
Seventy-three percent of all Latino registered voters support Obama, while 21 percent favor Romney, according to the poll. That 52-point gap matches the largest gap among Latino voters this, found in an October 1 poll, according to Latino Decisions. Addtionally, 45 percent of Latino voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting in this election than they were in 2008, compared with just 37 percent 10 weeks ago.
A full 87 percent of Latino voters say they are almost certain they will vote, including eight percent who have already voted early. According to Census statistics, 84 percent of Latino registered voters cast a ballot in 2008.
These latest numbers indicate that Latino voters think that fighting in Congress is a larger issue than who wins the presidential race. Only 14 percent said a lack of leadership by Obama is responsible for the economy not improving more quickly, and only 12 percent said a lack leadership by the Republican Party is responsible. A full 64 percent blamed fighting in Congress.
"In particular, the tracking data has consistently shown that Latino voters blame fighting in Congress as the reason the economy has not recovered, and on this issue over 40% think that regardless of who wins - Obama or Romney - that neither candidate can bring cooperation to Washington D.C. In the final week of this campaign, the candidates need to connect with Latino voters and explain how they will somehow be able to break the impasse in Congress and get things done," said Matt Barreto, co-founder of political opinion research firm Latino Decisions.
Slightly more than half think chances of immigration reform are better under President Obama, while nearly 40 percent think it makes no difference as far as immigration reform whether Obama wins reelection. And about 45 percent of Latino voters said a second Obama presidency would not increase cooperation in Congress, while 43 percent said A Romney presidency would make no difference.
The economy and jobs are still the most important issues for Latino voters, as well as voters in general. While Romney has been gaining among general voters in terms of who they trust to handle the economy, Latino support is still solidly behind Obama. Only 18 percent of Latino voters trust Republicans and Romney to improve the economy, while 73 percent trust Obama and the Democrats.