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Latino voters highly engaged in presidential election, support for Obama rises

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The impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll latest results reveal a high level of interest and engagement by Latino voters in the upcoming congressional and presidential elections. [ Full wave 9 results here ]

More than three-fourths of all respondents said they have talked with friends or family members about candidates, issues or other election topics in the last few months and 45% have actively tried to persuade friends or family on their election decision. According to the 2008 American National Election study, 45% of all voters said they tried to influence how others voters, suggesting on this measure Latinos are as engaged in 2012 as all voters were in 2008.  When asked if they had tried to help people register or volunteered for any campaign or voter outreach effort 14% of all Latino voters said yes.  In 2008 the ANES found 4% of all voters had worked on a campaign, 13% gave money to a campaign, and 9% attended a political meeting.

Those who said they were very enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming elections climbed from 51% last week to 56% this.

“This week’s survey indicates that Latino voters are one of the most highly engaged groups in the election,” said Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “This has implications for both candidates, but is an especially positive force for President Obama who is still highly favored by Latinos.”

Among Latinos, those age 45-65 years old reported the highest level of electoral engagement on every dimension.   For example, within this age group 89% are certain to vote, and 68% say they are very enthusiastic. 59% say they have tried to persuade people on political issues, and 28% have volunteered for a campaign or worked on voter registration.

Presidential Race Tracker

After a slight decline in last week’s poll, Obama’s support is back up near his previous high 3 weeks ago. When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, a combined 71% of respondents were certain or likely to vote for Obama, compared to 67% last week and 72% two weeks ago. A combined 20% were certain or likely to vote for Romney, compared to 23% last week and 20% two weeks ago.

One of the most interesting electoral stories over the last two weeks may be that while the overall national polls show Romney making noticeable gains on Obama, among the Latino electorate Romney gained only 3 points during his rise, but lost those 3 points back this week and stands at 20%.  And a very important footnote to the national polls – if they are not accurately polling and counting Latino voters which will comprise 10% of all voters, they may be overstating Romney’s numbers by 2 or 3 points.

“Obama may have lost some ground nationally,” said Monica Lozano, of impreMedia. “But our 9 weeks of polling indicate he has retained consistent support from Latino voters, and they are likely to be a decisive factor in his re-election effort.”

Methodology. This is the ninth release of an 11-week tracking poll of Latino registered voters. Each week impreMedia and Latino Decisions release a new rolling cross- section of 300 completed interviews with Latino registered voters across all 50 states. Interviews are conducted in English or Spanish, at the preference of the respondent, all conducted by bilingual interviewers at Latino Decisions calling center, Pacific Market Research. The survey averaged 10 minutes in length, and has an overall margin of error of 5.6% on results that approach a 50/50 distribution. All respondents confirm that they are Hispanic or Latino and currently registered to vote. The ninth week of the survey was fielded Oct 12-Oct 18, 2012. Download week 9 results