4 Key Swing States to Obama with High Latino Vote

Obama High Latino Vote ImpreMedia & Latino Decisions today released the last in a series of 11 weekly tracking polls with results suggesting President Obama is poised to win a record high share of the Latino vote, and in turn likely to win key swing states and enough electoral college votes to retain the presidency. [View complete week 11 results here]

During the course of the 11 weeks of tracking, there have been fluctuations in Obama’s favorability and attitudes about key issues among Latinos, but overall results indicate the President has retained consistent support and Latinos report they are likely to turn out in record numbers.

Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that they had already voted early, with another 73% saying they were certain to vote, reflecting increasing levels of enthusiasm over the course of this poll.

The President’s support continued its steady climb with 64% saying they are certain to vote for him on election day and another 8% leaning towards him. Romney’s supporters also remained consistent, but overall he was unable to make significant inroads with Latino voters. Week 11 polling found 22% said they were certain to or might vote for Romney, compared to 24% during Week 1 polling.

Among likely Latino voters, those with consistent vote history or have already voted, 73% say they plan to vote for Obama compared to 24% for Romney and 3% undecided.  If Obama wins 73% or higher of the Latino vote, it would eclipse the 72% won by Bill Clinton in his landslide re-election in 1996, and mark the highest total ever for a Democratic presidential candidate.

“With 11 weeks of tracking, we are headed towards a record level of Latino votes for a Democratic presidential candidate,” said Matt Barreto, principal investigator for Latino Decisions. “If Latinos turnout at the high rates we are expecting, they could deliver Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Virginia to Obama.”

Overall, Latino voters had a positive view of Democrats and when asked who they would vote for in the upcoming U.S. House of Representatives election, 68% had already voted or were certain they would vote for Democrats, and another 4% saying they lean towards Democrats in the Congressional vote.

“Voter enthusiasm in this election has increased significantly which is extremely encouraging” said Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “All indications are that Latinos are motivated and will turn out in record numbers proving once again that this electorate is critical for any national candidate to win.”

Among likely voters, 55% say they are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than in 2008, with only 22% saying they were more enthusiastic in 2008.  In looking to the Tuesday election, 74% of likely Latino voters say they are “very enthusiastic.”

On the issue the candidates talk about the most – the economy – Mitt Romney has not been able to move Latino opinion over the 11 weeks of polling. When it comes to moving forward with a plan to fix the economy and create jobs, 71% of Latinos say they trust Obama and the Democrats, compared to 20% who trust Romney and the GOP.  These rates are virtually unchanged from 5 weeks ago, suggesting the constant discussion of the poor state of the economy under Obama, by the Romney campaign has done little to persuade Latino voters.

Published by the LA Progressive on November 5, 2012
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About Matt Barreto

Matt A. Barreto is an Associate Professor in political science at the University of Washington, Seattle and the director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Barreto is a founding principal of Latino Decisions. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine in 2005.

His research has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, and other peer reviewed journals. He is the author of the book, Ethnic Cues: The role of shared ethnicity in Latino political behavior published by the University of Michigan Press in 2010, and has just finished a book manuscript co-authored with Christopher Parker, Change We Can't Believe In: Exploring the Sources and Consequences of Tea Party Support, under contract with Princeton University Press, to be published in 2012.

In 2008, Barreto was a co-principal investigator (with Gary Segura) of the American National Election Study Latino oversample, which included the first ever-Spanish language translation of the ANES and the first ever oversample of Latino voters. In 2010, he was appointed to the ANES Board of Overseers.