Florida Latinos More Divided on Obama

A first look at preliminary Florida exit poll results finds Florida Hispanics with more divided feelings about the Obama administration than Latinos nationally and a somewhat more favorable view of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

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At the same time, Hispanics in Florida are more positive about President Obama and find Romney less appealing than other voters in the Sunshine state.

Overall about four-in-ten Florida Latinos say they are "angry" (14%) or "dissatisfied" (26%) with the president's administration while 26% say they are "satisfied" and 23% are "enthusiastic."

Among Latinos nationally, only about three-in-ten express anger (7%) or dissatisfaction (21%) with the Obama presidency and seven-in-ten are satisfied (34%) or enthusiastic (37%). (All voters nationally offered a mixed verdict of Obama's administration: 21% were angry, 29% were dissatisfied, 23% were satisfied and 25% were enthusiastic.)

These differences are mostly explained by the continuing influence of Florida's large Cuban-American population, who are more politically conservative and Republican than other Hispanics. The migration of Puerto Ricans and immigrants from elsewhere in Latin America into the state-groups that have tended to vote more Democratic-have meant that Cuban-Americans comprise a shrinking share of the Hispanic vote.

While the sample of Cuban-Americans is too small to analyze, the verdict of non-Cuban Latinos suggests the gulf in attitudes between the two groups. Among these Hispanics, more than six-in-ten were either enthusiastic or satisfied with the Obama administration-or nearly as positive as Hispanics nationally about the administration.

Overall, 55% of Florida Latinos had a "favorable" view of Obama while 41% said they had a negative opinion of the president. Hispanic voters in general were somewhat cooler toward Romney (47% favorable, 47% unfavorable).

Among all Florida voters, 52% had a favorable view of Obama and 46% had a negative opinion; about as many (50%) had a favorable view of Romney and 46% had a negative opinion of him.

These preliminary exit poll results are based on a total sample size of 475 Latinos and a total sample size of 3,128. Margin of sampling error for the sample of Latinos is approximately plus or minus 7 percentage points and plus or minus 3 points for the full sample.

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