Florida Latino Vote Gap Tightening For Romney: Poll

Presidential Race For Latino Votes In Florida Tightens: Poll

Florida may be the only state in the nation with good news for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Latino voter support.

Although President Barack Obama still leads among Latino voters both nationally and in Florida, Romney is closing the gap in the latter, according to the results of a Florida International University/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely Latino voters released Monday.

Just over half of Florida Latino voters said they will vote for Obama, while 44 percent said they prefer Romney and 4.7 percent are undecided, the poll found, putting Romney at a much closer margin than he holds among Latinos in other states.

Romney is aided in Florida by his popularity with the Cuban population, whose politics typically are more to the right than those of Latino population at large. The poll found near-equal percentages of Latino voters in Florida -- around 36 percent -- identify with each party. Among Cuban-Americans in Florida, the GOP is faring better, with 50 percent saying they identify as Republican versus 25 percent who identify as Democrat.

The poll found that Cuban-Americans nationwide were the only group that mostly said they are worse off now than they were four years ago, whereas most Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans said they are better off.

In Florida, though, a strong majority, 69 percent, of Mexican-Americans said they are not better off than they were four years ago, along with the 63 percent of the state's Cuban-Americans who said the same. Cuban- and Mexican-Americans in Florida also mostly said Obama has failed to deliver on his promises to the Hispanic community.

The dissatisfaction of Mexican-American voters in Florida doesn't translate to full support for Romney, however, according to the poll. If the election was held today, Obama would win 62 percent of Florida's Mexican-Americans, while Romney would win 57 percent of Cuban-Americans there.


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