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Poll finds growing support for Obama among Latinos

October 03, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • Delegate Antonia Gonzalez of Seattle wears a "Latinos for Obama" hat during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Delegate Antonia Gonzalez of Seattle wears a "Latinos for Obama"… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- President Obama may be widening his lead with Latino voters as a new poll shows that 70% say they plan to vote for him over Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama leads Romney, 70% to 20%, according to a new Telemundo/NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll.

That represents an increase of 7 percentage points for Obama and a decrease of 8 points for Romney in the poll, the widest lead Obama has held in the poll since it was first conducted in June, according to the release accompanying the poll results Wednesday.

The poll is a national one and doesn’t present a snapshot of how the candidates are doing with this crucial slice of the electorate in battleground states such as Colorado, Nevada and Florida. And, of course, Obama picks up the benefit only if he manages to actually turn out supportive Latino voters to the polls.

PHOTOS: Obama on the campaign trail

But if Romney really is losing the Latino vote by a 50-point margin, that would present a difficult obstacle for him to surmount. The number of registered Latino voters  has doubled to 11 million since 1994 and, in a tight race, their preference could mean victory in several important states.

Both campaigns are clearly conscious of the margin at stake. Obama has announced that he will attend a ceremony next week honoring farm worker and labor leader Cesar Chavez, as his California home is designated a national monument.

Romney declared that, as president, he would support Obama’s order blocking the deportation of many young undocumented immigrants.

The results likely aren't just about immigration issues. The poll shows Romney with an all-time low in his favorability score and Obama at an all-time high.

The new numbers are out with just hours to go before the candidates’ first face-to-face debate. The scope of the debate is domestic policy, which could put key issues for these voters in the spotlight.

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

Twitter: @cparsons

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