Latinos strongly backing Obama
President Obama has built an overwhelming lead among Latino voters, a nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Hispanics finds, as Republican challenger Mitt Romney faces a difficult path ahead to make inroads among what has been the nation’s fastest-growing ethnic group for a generation.
The president leads Romney 66%-25% among more than 1,000 Latino registered voters surveyed April 16 to May 31, matching his muscular showing in the 2008 election among Hispanics. Romney is in the weakest position among Latinos of any presidential contender since 1996 — and in those intervening 16 years their percentage of the electorate has doubled.
Since the poll was taken, Obama has fortified Hispanic enthusiasm by announcing he would block the deportation of an estimated 800,000 undocumented young Latinos who were brought to the United States as children. In a subsequent USA TODAY/Gallup survey, taken Wednesday-Saturday, more than eight in 10 Latinos approved of the president’s action, most of them strongly.
“I’ve seen that affect a lot of families, so that’s actually something I’m pretty much in favor of,” says Jonny Rozyla, 22, a college student from Anoka, Minn., a poll respondent who was interviewed by phone. His mother was born in the United States and his father emigrated from Mexico. Rozyla says he “strongly disagrees” with Romney’s statements about a controversial Arizona immigration law. “I don’t think he’s for the people, mostly,” he says of Romney. “He’s more for the rich than the poor.”
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