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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Susana Martinez was the first U.S. Latina governor when she was elected governor of New Mexico in 2010. She is a Republican and the first woman to be the state's governor. Martinez, of Mexican descent, was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She was district attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County in Southern New Mexico, a position she held for 14 years. Controversy has followed Martinez. First, it erupted when she claimed that her <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/09/09/new-mexico-gov-susana-martinez-confirms-that-grandparents-were-undocumented/" target="_hplink">grandparents first came into the country illegally. </a> She later clarified her family's past stating that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/susana-martinez-new-mexico-governor-clarifies-immigrant-past_n_1093443.html" target="_hplink">her grandparents followed common practices in coming to the U.S. from Mexico in the early 1900s. </a> The second controversy came with <a href="http://hispanic.cc/new_mexico_republican_governor_martinez_attacks_law_allowing_undocumented_to_obtain_drivers_licenses.htm" target="_hplink">her proposal to revoke a New Mexico state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.</a>
Marco Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 to represent Florida. He was born in Miami and is the son of Cuban immigrants. Rubio was accused of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/25/will-marco-rubio-lie-matter-as-much-as-politics_n_1031147.html" target="_hplink">embellishing crucial details about his parents' emigration from Cuba. </a> News has been circulating of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-schneider/psssst-marco-rubio-will-b_b_940308.html" target="_hplink">a possible Republican nomination for vice president</a> in the 2012 election. Rubio told the GOP to tone down its hard-edged stance on immigration. <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/11/15/rubio-tells-gop-to-ease-up-on-immigration/#ixzz1doct52kh" target="_hplink">According to Fox News Latino,</a> Rubio said, "The Republican Party should not be labeled as the anti-illegal immigration party. Republicans need to be the pro-legal immigration party."
Luis Fortuño is the governor of Puerto Rico and president of the New Progressive Party, the political party seeking U.S. statehood for the island. In 2012, Fortuño has been an active campaigner for Mitt Romney, even being listed as a potential Vice President candidate on the GOP ticket.
Texas Republican Ted Cruz is the first Hispanic to hold the post of Solicitor General for the state of Texas. He won a runoff election against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in July 2012, and is now the GOP candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Brian Sandoval was appointed U.S. district judge for Nevada by President George W. Bush in October 2005, becoming the state's first Hispanic federal judge. Sandoval is an American citizen of Mexican descent. He is currently Nevada governor. Earlier this year, Sandoval said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/13/brian-sandoval-endorses-rick-perry_n_961090.html" target="_hplink">he was backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid</a>.
Zoraida Fonalledas serves as the <a href="http://www.goppr.org/content/zoraida-fonalledas-national-committeewoman" target="_hplink">national committeewoman of the Puerto Rico Republican Party</a>, a position she has held since 1995. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Fonalledas holds a J.D. from InterAmerican University School of Law of Puerto Rico and is a member of both the American and Puerto Rico Bar Associations. Skip ahead to the 6:00 mark in the video to hear Fonalledas speak.
Luce Vela Fortuño
Formerly Lucé Vela Gutierrez, Fortuño is the wife of Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno. As the first lady of Puerto Rico, she introduced Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
New Mexico businessman Phil Archuletta gave a controversial speech during the 2012 Republican National Convention's "We Built It" night. His remarks that the Obama administration did not give his business more money sparked commentary after it was brought to light that he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/phil-archuletta-rnc-we-built-it_n_1840489.html?utm_hp_ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">saw over $340,000 in federal contracts under Obama in 2010</a>.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is included in this roundup not for his Hispanic blood, but for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/jeb-bush-hispanic-republicans-voters_n_1842663.html?utm_hp_ref=latino-voices" target="_hplink">his close ties to the Latino community</a>. "He is accepted as part of the Cuban community," said Jose Fuentes, of Fuentes & Rodriguez, a Miami government consulting firm, who has known Bush for about three decades. "He was like one of us kids. My father would tell me, 'Oye, you have to be like Jeb.'"
Craig Romney, the son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has been making the rounds during the convention, touting his grandfather's Mexican roots. On Thursday, he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/craig-romney-speech_n_1844934.html?utm_hp_ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">addressed delegates in Spanish</a> and teared up while he was talking about his heritage. Outside the political world, he <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/the-romney-sons-a-guide" target="_hplink">lives in San Diego/a> with his wife and two kids and works in real estate.
Honorable Mention: Samuel Rodriguez
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez delivered a benediction during the 2012 RNC. Rodriguez, <a href="http://www.nhclc.org/en/leader/rev-samuel-rodriguez" target="_hplink">a Hispanic evangelical</a>, currently serves as the <a href="http://www.nhclc.org/en/our-leadership" target="_hplink">president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference</a>.