Huffpost Politics

Barack Obama Maintains Huge Lead Over Mitt Romney Among Latinos

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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) | AP

Mitt Romney isn't having much luck winning over Latino voters, according to a poll released by CNN Tuesday that puts President Barack Obama a whopping 44 percentage points ahead among Latinos, considered a key group for winning the election this year.

In a survey of 601 people, CNN found that an even larger share of Latino voters -- 70 percent -- support Obama this year than those who voted for him in 2008, when he won 67 percent of the Latino vote. Meanwhile, 26 percent of voters said in the new poll that they support Romney.

Romney has remained consistently behind Obama among Latinos, but has been trying to close that gap with voter outreach, Spanish-language ads and appearances on Spanish-language television. Those efforts haven't shown much of a result, at least in polling. Latino Decisions, a non-partisan polling firm, used weekly tracking polls to estimate on Tuesday that Obama would take more than 76 percent of the Latino vote and that Romney would take only about 23 percent.

Many strategists say a Republican candidate needs about 40 percent of the Latino vote to win, a percentage that former President George W. Bush attained in 2004. Former presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wasn't able to hit that figure.

CNN found that Obama has good approval numbers among Latinos, which could alleviate concerns that many will stay home from the polls. His approval rating among Latinos increased from 57 percent in 2010 to 68 percent in the poll released Tuesday, CNN reported.

As with most polling of Latino votes, the economy was rated by far the most important issue. Immigration came in second, with 14 percent of respondents saying it was their top priority. Nearly 70 percent of Latinos said Obama would be better equipped than Romney to deal with the economy and unemployment, and 74 percent said his policies on immigration were superior to Romney's.

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