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According to the latest impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll, President Barack Obama has extended his massive lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters.

The poll shows Obama leading Romney 73 percent to 21 percent among Latinos nationally, up from his 69 to 24 percent advantage last week. In battleground states, Obama’s lead is 61 percent to 33 percent.

Romney’s favorability numbers are even worse; just 10 percent of Latino voters have a “very favorable” opinion of Romney, compared to 55 percent for Obama.

One major red flag for the Republican is the fact that 72 percent of Latino voters nationwide trust Obama to make the right decisions and improve our economic conditions, compared to just 20 percent who trust Romney. Just one month ago, Obama’s lead on the economy was only 59 percent to 30 percent; this suggests that Romney’s now-notorious “47 percent” video has had a major impact on the race.

As Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions said in a statement, “While Republicans had hoped the weak economy would provide an opening to win over Latinos, almost three-fourths of Latinos say they have more confidence in Obama to fix the economy. Romney’s infamous comments about the ’47 percent’ are clearly hurting him among Latinos. He appears out of touch with the average working class family.”

Romney’s dismissive rhetoric on the “47 percent” has been well documented, but he also made several other comments at the secretly-recorded Boca Raton fundraiser that are indicative of the attitude that has made him startlingly unpopular among Latino voters. At one point during the fundraiser, Romney said “Gosh, I’d love to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill…I’d like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, ‘Come to America, we want you here.'”

“Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home,” he continued. “Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.”

The comment seems even more derisive in light of Romney’s joke at the fundraiser that it would be helpful to his campaign if he were Latino.

Even Romney knows that he must find a way to fix his image in the Latino community, however. As he told the crowd at Boca Raton, “If the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”

Photo credit: AP/Charles Dharapak


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