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Republicans fail to improve their image among Latinos, but have opportunity on education

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Cross-Posted at and Latino Vote Matters:

The latest impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll released today revealed a continued trend in support for President Obama, and increased dissatisfaction with Republican outreach towards Latino voters, with a possible opening for Romney on his education plan. [Full week 7 results posted here]

Overall, seventy-two percent of Latino voters said that if the election were held today they will vote for Barack Obama, compared to just 20% for Romney. When asked who was to blame for lack of progress in the economic recovery, an overwhelming majority (60%) blamed partisan gridlock in Congress while only 15% named Obama and 14% blamed Republicans.  In evaluating Congress, 55% of Latinos had a favorable view of Democrats in Congress and 24% had a favorable view of Republicans in Congress. The seventh wave of the tracking poll was in the field September 28-October 4.

In terms of 2012 vote for the House of Representatives, support for congressional Democrats stayed steady, with 68% of respondents saying they are planning to vote Democrat in the upcoming election, compared to 18% planning to vote Republican.

After months of an intense campaign, the Republican Party has not been able to move the dial on how Latinos perceive outreach towards the community, while Democrats continue to be on the rise. For the most part, the numbers remained steady for both parties, with 50% of voters saying that Republicans “don’t care too much” when asked if they were doing a good job of reaching out to Hispanics/Latinos, compared to 16% who felt they were doing a good job and 17% who said the Republicans were hostile towards Latinos. For Democrats, the numbers were opposite; with 65% saying they felt Democrats were doing a good job compared to 22% who said they “don’t care too much,” and 5% who said they were hostile.

An opportunity for Romney on Education?

An additional new poll question addressed Latino voters’ attitudes towards education. When asked if they supported or opposed providing federal tax money in the form of vouchers to help pay for the cost of education, 42% said they opposed while 38% said they supported. In a separate question 21% listed education as a top issue, compared to 13% who listed healthcare, suggesting a possible area for Romney to outline his vision for education and build support among Latino voters.

“Romney’s stand on education could help him gain some traction with the Latino vote”, stated Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “Providing more school choice through such things as vouchers might provide Romney the opportunity to change his low favorability with Latino voters.”

Unlike other policy issues that the impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll has asked about over the past seven weeks, Latino voters are equally divided on the school vouchers issue, and expanding educational opportunities for Latinos was a theme promoted by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at the 2012 NALEO conference in Orlando, to significant applause lines from the Latino audience.

On other issues polled Latino voters have stated a 3-1, and even 4-1 preference for the Democratic policy position, including medicare, immigration, foreign policy, and women’s issues.  However when described an education voucher system to that outlined by Mitt Romney, about the same number supported that opposed.

Citation Footnote: All references to this series of polls should be cited as The impreMedia-Latino Decisions Tracking Poll. To view more data and information on this week’s poll visit:www.laopinion.com/section/voto.  Follow the impreMedia-Latino Decisions Tracking Poll results on twitter with #IMLDPOLLS


This is the seventh release of an 11-week tracking poll of Latino registered voters. Each week impreMedia and Latino Decisions will 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. This seventh wave of the survey was fielded Sept 28-Oct 4, 2012