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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll: Rubio on ticket could help a lot w/GOP lagging way behind Obama w/Latinos



National polls of Hispanic voters don't necessarily have significant bearing on the Hispanic vote in Florida, but a new poll for Fox News Latino offers excellent news for president Obama.

Fox News Latino: Despite growing disappointment in his handling of immigration issues, Latino voters favor President Barack Obama by six-to-one over any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, showed a Fox News Latino poll conducted under the direction of Latin Insights and released Monday.

The national poll of likely Latino voters indicated that 73 percent of them approved of Obama’s performance in office, with over half those questioned looking favorably upon his handling of the healthcare debate and the economy, at 66 percent and 58 percent respectively.

Released on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries in the race for the GOP nomination, the Fox News Latino poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 35 percent of Latino voter support, to Texas Rep. Ron Paul's 13 percent, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's 12 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's 9 percent.

But the poll shows that the overwhelming choice among likely Latino voters is President Obama. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November, the poll said.

"This is what we're seeing across the country," said Gabriela Domenzain, Obama campaign spokesperson. "The more Latinos learn about the candidates, the more they reject them."

...While the poll indicates that four of five Latinos who voted for Obama in 2008 would vote for him later this year, Latinos who voted for Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain four years ago are now divided between voting for Obama and the Republican candidates. Forty percent said that they favored Obama while 38 percent said they would vote for Romney. Obama also leads Santorum 38 percent to 34, and Gingrich 40 percent to 38.

...One area where Republicans could gain back ground among Latino voters is by the choice of Vice President. Almost one-third of Latino voters say that they would consider voting Republican if there were a Latino on the ticket.

Both Florida junior Sen. Marco Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martínez have been mentioned as possible names for the eventual GOP presidential ticket.

Almost one-quarter of Latinos said they would be more willing to vote for a Republican if Rubio was on the ticket, with this number rising to almost four-in-ten in Florida, a potential swing state. About one-fifth of likely Latino voters would be more willing to vote for a Republican if Martínez  got the VP nod.


[Last modified: Monday, March 5, 2012 11:53am]


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