An increasing number of Florida Latino voters support President Barack Obama while Republican candidate Mitt Romney's numbers are slipping, according to a survey released Thursday, Oct. 4.
The survey from Latino Decisions and America's Voice found 61 percent of Latinos polled support Obama, compared with 31 percent for Romney - a larger gap when compared with a similar survey done in June.
Casey Klofstad, contributing analyst for Latino Decisions, said the Latino vote will affect the outcome of the Nov. 6 election.
President Barack Obama
"The Latino community is large in Florida and is increasing, and those from the community are also becoming more and more likely to vote," he said. "They are potentially a game changer for any candidate."
More than half of those surveyed said Obama's recent policy change offering deferred action status to young people made them more enthusiastic about the Democratic nominee.
Klofstad said the Latino vote will play a strong role in the middle of the state, which has a Puerto Rican heritage.
"Puerto Ricans are largely living in the Interstate 4 corridor, which is really the location of the state that's purple," he said. "The I-4 corridor is where the election is decided."
Latino voters are concerned about issues such as the economy, education and health care, but Klofstad said immigration is top of mind for them.
"If you look at the immigration policies by the Republicans and Democrats, the plans by the Democrats make the Latino electorate in Florida far more enthusiastic about voting for them," he said.
The survey also found Romney's statement that the United States should prevent illegal immigrants from working in America made almost 60 percent of their respondents less enthusiastic about voting for him.
- Florida News Connection