Photo: Latino Decisions Poll: Obama Leading Romney Among Florida, Nevada Hispanic Voters
U.S. President Barack Obama is ahead of Republican rival Mitt Romney in Hispanic voter preference in the states of Florida and Nevada, according to a new poll by Latino Decisions for America’s Voice.
In Florida, 56 percent of the 400 Hispanic registered voters said they will definitely vote for Obama in the Nov. 5 election, against 27 percent who said they would vote for Romney.
In the state of Nevada, 69 percent of those polled said they will definitely vote for the Democratic incumbent, while 15 percent said they would support the Republican candidate, according to the survey.
“It looks at this moment that Obama has a tremendous advantage among Latino voters, above all in Nevada where the Latino community is mostly made up of Mexicans and Central Americans,” America’s Voice executive director Frank Sharry told Efe during a forum at the University of Miami.
“In Florida it’s less, but it’s significant that one out of every two Latinos support Obama,” he said.
If that doesn’t change, he said, Obama will have the “chance to steal Florida from Romney,” who, according to most analysts, must take either Ohio or the Sunshine State to win in November.
Sharry recalled that in 2008 Obama won 57 percent of the Latino vote in Florida, and four years before Repubican George W. Bush took 56 percent of the Hispanic vote here.
Asked to which factor he attributed the strong support for Obama among Florida Latinos, Sharry said it was the immigration issue.
“The composition of the Hispanic vote is changing in this state, the fastest growing group in the community are Latin Americans, for whom immigration is a major issue,” he said.
Romney maintains strong support among Florida’s Cuban-American community, he said.
Though Obama was unable to keep his promise to pass immigration reform in his first term and his administration broke deportation records, his Deferred Action program, which offers undocumented youth a reprieve from deportation, sparked voter enthusiasm in the president’s favor, according to the study.
Thirty-six percent of those interviewed in Florida said that immigration reform and the DREAM Act - a measure to legalize many undocumented young people - are important matters that must be resolved by the president and Congress.
For 52 percent of the sample, the economy and unemployment are key topics in this year’s elections, while 15 percent pointed to education.
With regard to Romney’s position on immigration, Sharry told Efe that the Republican candidate has said that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070 is a “model” for the country, that he would oppose the DREAM Act and that “he wants a self-deportation strategy” for the undocumented.
Sixty-seven percent of Latino voters in Nevada and 57 percent in Florida said that these positions have diluted enthusiasm for Romney, according to the study.