Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Barack Obama has been dominating his Republican challenger Mitt Romney among the Hispanic vote, and while his lead slipped a little after a bad first debate; the president continues to far outpace Romney amongst Latino voters.
According to the latest Latino Decisions poll, President Obama is currently leading Romney by a 67-23 percent margin. The 44-point lead, while substantial, is down slightly from last week and is the first-time Obama has polled below 70 percent among Latino voters since the end of September.
Perhaps more troubling for the supporters of the president; the number of Latino voters who described themselves as “very enthusiastic” or “somewhat enthusiastic” dropped from 93 percent two weeks ago, to 81 percent in the current poll.
The poll found that 32 percent of registered Latino voters self-identified as independent. In the independent group, 51 percent said they plan to vote for Obama to 29 percent who said they will vote for Romney. Twenty percent of the independent voters were undecided, according to the poll.
Previously, Republican operatives have said that Romney must win at least 30 percent of the Latino vote if he wants to win the White House. According to the Latino Decisions poll, 10 percent of Latino voters remain undecided.
For Obama, the challenge once again will be to get out the vote. If voter turnout is high again in 2012, Obama has a solid chance of winning re-election. However, if voter turnout is low, it’s historically favored the Republican Party’s chances of winning.