Mitt Romney aides say he has made crucial gains among Florida’s Hispanic voters by portraying Obama as fatally weak, a perception they argue has particular power in the Latino community.
A new Florida International University/Miami Herald poll released over the weekend shows President Obama leading Romney among likely Latino voters by just seven points, 51-44 percent. A Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald poll released late last week actually showed Romney ahead of Obama by two points — an 11-point shift from a month earlier. And a third poll, released Sunday by Public Policy Polling, shows Romney down just three points among Florida Hispanics.
By contrast, Obama won 57 percent of Florida Latinos in 2008, according to exit polls.
One Obama campaign adviser, requesting anonymity to address the polls frankly, contested that they were likely skewed by oversampling Cuban-American voters, who are mostly conservative. And the adviser stressed that Obama still maintains a wide lead among Latino voters nationwide.
But nationally, Hispanic voters are also among the lowest enthusiasm levels of any demographic in the country. And oversampling Cuban-Americans doesn’t explain the 11-point bounce Romney received in the days since the debate. For the Obama campaign, which is banking on a Latino landslide similar to 2008, the numbers could spell danger.
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