Oct. 1, 2012 -- While President Obama enjoys a wide lead among Latino voters across the country, Mitt Romney has made some headway with Latinos in swing states, according to this week's tracking poll by Latino Decisions for impreMedia.
The poll showed that 33 percent of Hispanic voters in ten battleground states were "certain" or "thinking about" voting for Romney, a slight gain from prior weeks for the Republican candidate. Still, the same poll found that President Obama had his strongest week to date with those surveyed.
Fifty one percent of Latino voters in ten battleground states said they trust Obama more than his opponent to handle the economy, compared to 27 percent who said they trusted Romney and Republicans more. Nationally, 72 percent of voters favor Obama on the economy, and more than 20 percent favor Romney -- a significant increase from just four weeks ago when 59 percent favored Obama and 30 percent favored Romney.
Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have campaigned on a promise of economic recovery in the Hispanic community, where the unemployment rate sits at 11 percent, three full points higher than the national average. Despite the GOP's focus on their economic message, Latino voters are siding with Obama nationally when it comes to the issue.
Furthermore, Romney lacks strong "core support" from respondents in the Latino community," according to Latino Decisions. Just 10 percent of those surveyed said they had a "very favorable" opinion of Romney, while 55 percent of those surveyed had a "very favorable" opinion of Obama.
Latinos will play a key role in the election, as a growing population in key swing states, many pollsters argue. However, questions remain about just how many of these voters will turn up to the polls on election day.
The Latino Decisions pollsters in part attribute Obama's gain this week to Romney's recent '47 percent' comments.
"Romney's infamous comments about the '47 percent' are clearly hurting him among Latinos," Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions said. "He appears out of touch with the average working class family."