Huffpost Latino Voices

Mitt Romney Gains Latino Support, Despite Republican Convention's 'Minimal Impact'

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While Monday's Gallup poll suggested the Republican National Convention had a "minimal impact" on Mitt Romney's chances on Nov. 6, the GOP pick may have gained some traction among Latino voters.

Twenty-six percent of registered Latino voters said they would vote for Romney before the convention, but this week's impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll puts him at 30 percent -- his highest level of Latino support yet.

Additionally, 39 percent of "independent" voters said the RNC's lineup of prominent Latino speakers, such as Marco Rubio and Susana Martinez, made a positive impression on them.

The 4 percent gain may appear modest, but for Romney, who needs an estimated 40 percent of Latino voters to win the election, it's a significant gain. Though he still trails 30 to 40 percentage points behind Obama's 64 percent in Latino support -- the same amount he trailed last week -- his Latino bounce after the RNC indicates Romney could still close the gap. After all, as Romney gained some Latino support, Obama lost a percentage point, according to the tracking poll.

Following last week's RNC, recent polls put President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on similar footing. Sunday's Reuters/Ipsos poll indicated the two presidential candidates are tied at 45 percent. But with Obama ready to take the helm at this week's Democratic National Convention, he has the chance to outpace his competitor across the board.

However, the Latino vote is thought to be a crucial voting bloc this election with an estimated 12 million voters expected to turn out in November.

In past years, Latino support has proven to be decisive in the outcome of presidential elections. In 2004, President George W. Bush won the election with 44 percent of the Latino vote, while Sen. John McCain lost to Obama in 2008, garnering only 31 percent of Latino voters.

With the election on the line, both the GOP and the Democratic party have put in extra efforts this year to appeal to Latino voters. Though Romney's stance on immigration has alienated many in the Latino community, appeals for support from his Spanish-speaking son Craig and his wife Ann during the RNC may have contributed to the 4 percent bump in Latino support.

While the DNC boasts a record number of Latino delegates this year, the Democratic party is also highlighting its Latino appeal with streaming coverage of the convention in both English and Spanish and a Spanish-language version of the official convention website.

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