POLL: Latinos Undecided and Unenthusiastic about 2012 Elections

A new poll by Latino Decisions shows that about half of Latino voters are still undecided on who to vote for President and are not excited about the upcoming 2012 election. The data is bad news for President Obama who needs a super majority of Latino support, about 75%, to secure a second term in the White House.

The new poll examined a variety of topics including likely voter turnout and important policy issue facing Latinos, economy and jobs still remain at the top of that list. Latino Decisions poll also asked about the role of religion in Latino political attitudes, the impact of Marco Rubio on a presidential ticket and the efforts of both political parties in engaging Hispanic voters.

While the ever changing Republican primary has generated a lot of media attention, it has done little to excite the average Hispanic voter about the Presidential election. Only 44% of Latino voters said they are very enthusiastic about participating in next year’s U.S. presidential election, compared with 47% in October and 50% in August.

When examining Latino attitudes towards the GOP and the Republican Party it is clear that there is much work to be done. About 20% of Latino respondents said they are certain or are considering voting for a Republican candidate. Half of Latinos feel the Republican Party  is doing a poor job in connecting with Hispanics. This can be turned into an opportunities for Republican candidates to connect and motivate Hispanic voters who aren’t currently engaged in the political debate. A recent Univision poll found that a majority of Latino voters still were not familiar with the Republican presidential field.

A rare topic that was examined by the Latino Decisions poll was religion and politics from the perspective of Latino voters. It found that while Latinos are somewhat more religious as compared to non-Latinos, their religious beliefs are far less relevant to their political attitudes. 53% of respondents said that religion had no impact on their vote and about 55% of Latinos don’t care about a candidate’s religion. When asked about Mormonism,  less than 1/3 of Latinos know that Mormonism is a form of Christianity – a question that was clearly aimed at understanding Latino attitudes towards Republican Mitt Romney.

Read the full report and see the slide deck on the poll at Latino Decisions: “Latinos not very enthusiastic about the 2012 election

“…The impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll began measuring the election preferences of Latino voters in February of this year. It has been measuring their enthusiasm for voting in next year’s presidential election and their potential support for President Obama and a Republican rival. In six separate polls, Latino voters’ tendency to identify with the Democrats and President Obama’s approval rating among the majority of Latinos—except for Latino Republicans—have fluctuated somewhat, but have generally remained above 60%. Nevertheless, the voting intentions and enthusiasm of Latinos, which are crucial for Barack Obama’s re-election in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and even Arizona, which is now said to be up for grabs, are not as positive for the president as could be expected. “On the Democratic side, there’s no competition or much discussion. In 2008, as we remember, there was a lot of enthusiasm around the race, particularly between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” said Barreto….”

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