Latino Running Mate Wouldn’t Fix Romney’s Hispanic Gap: Poll

Jeremy B. White, IB Times, April 20, 2012

Balancing the Republican ticket with a Hispanic running mate would do little to alter Mitt Romney’s weak standing among Latinos, according to a new Public Policy Polling analysis.

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The need to shore up Latino support has helped fuel speculation that Romney might select a Hispanic running mate, particularly the charismatic young Cuban-American senator Marco Rubio. {snip}

But the poll challenges the assumption that Romney would get a boost from a Latino running mate. Pollsters asked Hispanic voters in three swing states with large Latino populations and Hispanic elected officials—Rubio in Florida, Gov. Susan Martinez in New Mexico and Gov. Brian Sandoval in Nevada—whether those officials getting the vice presidential nod would affect their vote.

In all three instances, voters’ responses were virtually identical to when they were offered a matchup between just Obama and Romney. About two-thirds of respondents supported Obama over Romney in New Mexico and Colorado; in Florida, 52 percent favored Obama compared to 44 percent for Romney.

The poll’s results do suggest that the economy may provide Romney with an opening. Hispanic voters in all three states listed jobs and the economy, not immigration, as the primary factors influencing their presidential preferences. {snip}

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