Obama Solidifying the Latino Vote

A new national poll of Latino registered voters by Latino Decisions shows Barack Obama expanding his lead over Mitt Romney, which isn’t terribly surprising given the incumbent’s highly successful recent chess moves over the immigration issue and the challenger’s failure to counter them. The poll shows Obama now leading Romney in this segment of the electorate by a 70-22 margin, exceeding Obama’s 67% performance among Latinos in 2008.

Among Latino independents, Obama’s lead is 60-25, and he’s even attracting 13% of Latino Republicans. As the Latino Decisions analysis notes, turnout remains a hard-to-predict variable, and Obama may actually need a significantly larger percentage margin among Latinos than he achieved in 2008 to obtain the same vote.

As for Romney, it’s probably too late for any sort of policy pivot that appeals to Latinos. I’d bet Rob Portman’s Veep backers are finding ways to remind Team Mitt of the Ohioan’s reported command of the Spanish language as often as possible.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.