This week a Quinnipiac University poll showed that President Obama’s Latino support is slipping. More specifically, among Latino voters, the President leads Mitt Romney by 59 to 30 percent. Just last month, a USA Today/Gallup poll showed the President leading Mitt Romney 66 to 25 percent among Latino voters. This comes almost a month after the President announced a new directive to stop deporting DREAM eligible young people, which many people thought would help him solidify Latino voter support.
The Obama campaign is still confident that it will perform well with Latino voters in November and Latino voters are cognizant of the dire situation the Obama administration came into in terms of the economy in January 2009. Unemployment in the Latino community is still above the national average at 11 percent, and it’s largely unchanged from recent months. This new Quinnipiac poll could be reflecting that frustration. If unemployment rates continue to not move down in the Latino community, Romney might be able to make some additional gains.
Despite the gains in the past few weeks, it’s still a steady uphill climb for Romney with Latino voters. A poll by Latino decisions in late June shows that the President’s support among Latinos is still strong in Florida, which is probably the one state where a larger chunk of conservative Latinos could really make a difference. In Florida, the President’s support amongst Latinos is at 59 percent compared to Romney’s 32 percent. In Colorado, another key swing state, the President still leads among Latino voters 60 percent to 33 percent.
Support for both candidates will likely continue to fluctuate between now and November, and this will have to do with the economic conditions and the extent that messaging and outreach is having an impact in Latino communities. President Obama still has a commanding lead over Mitt Romney with Latino voters, but Romney will have to eventually explain to Latinos why he veered so far to the right on issues like immigration during the primary season.