Univision Poll: Two-Thirds of Latinos Approve of Obama

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MIAMI -- A new Univision News - Latino Decisions poll of Hispanic registered voters finds that two-thirds of Latinos indicate approval of the president's job performance, but only one in three Hispanic voters strongly approves of the president. In addition, 53 percent of Hispanic registered voters indicated that they are less enthusiastic about President Obama now than they were in 2008.

These attitudes could be driven by a general dissatisfaction with the federal government amid loud complaints from Latinos about high joblessness and a lack of progress on immigration reform, Univision reports.

Sixty-three percent of Latinos said they disapprove of Congress and while 61 percent of the general electorate is very excited about voting in 2012, only 47 percent of Latinos say the same.

In head-to-head ballot tests, President Obama retains a decisive edge over his potential Republican challengers among Hispanics. The President out-polls former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain by 2-to-1 margins, rivaling his margin of victory over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. However, the survey shows that the Republican candidates remain largely unknown. Nearly half of all Hispanic voters felt they were not sufficiently familiar to offer an opinion of Gov. Romney, 37 percent could offer no view on Gov. Perry and 53 percent for Herman Cain.

This suggests the possibility of fluidity in the support of Hispanic voters over the course of the campaign, which is further evidenced by the generic Congressional ballot test, in which nearly one-quarter of Hispanic voters remains undecided.

The survey finds that like voters everywhere, the issue of the economy is paramount. When asked which was the most important issue in determining who to vote for in an election, 65 percent said the economy, compared to 23 percent who said immigration, with education and health care polling at 16 percent and 12 percent respectively. Respondents also indicated support for policies broadly favored by Republicans, with 42 percent support for extending tax cuts to everyone regardless of income.

However, when presented a hypothetical candidate whose economic policies the voter supported but who used strong anti-immigrant rhetoric, nearly 60 percent indicated the rhetoric would make them less likely to vote for that candidate.

The survey found that a majority of the general electorate (58 percent) support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including 53 percent of all Republicans.

That number is higher among Latinos: 67 percent support an earned path to citizenship, including 64 percent of Republican Latinos.

A majority of general voters (62 percent) and of Latino voters (67 percent) believe that conditioning immigration reform on border security is a ploy to block action on reform.

Univision News and Latino Decisions fielded two separate polls, one of Latino registered voters and a second among all registered voters nationally. Both polls were in the field from October 21 to November 1, 2011. Each poll interviewed 1,000 registered voters and contains a margin of error of plus or minus, 3.1%.

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