The latest impreMedia-Latino Decision tracking poll shows enthusiasm for the election among Latino voters on the rise. Forty-five percent of Latino voters say they are more likely to vote, an 8% increase from the past two months.
NBC Latino contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto told msnbc’s Chris Jansing that enthusiasm has grown specifically over the past 10 weeks especially in battleground states.
“What’s most important is that in the battleground states the rates are even higher with about 70% of Latinos showing enthusiasm for Obama,” DeFrancesco Soto said. She also reiterated that this enthusiasm rise in the battleground is crucial “for the Obama campaign to clinch the electoral voters that they need.”
Florida will be one battleground state where the Latino vote will be particularly interesting to watch, she added.
“Since 2000, we have seen a booming population of Puerto Ricans in central Florida, so we’re going to see that new voice come to the floor and they’re going to want to cast their ballot and show that they also have the clout in central Florida and it’s not just concentrated down in Miami,” she said.
Jansing noted the Pew Hispanic Center’s poll, which focused on registered Latino voters’ top issues. Education, jobs and the economy were recorded as major concerns for this election cycle.
“The economy is the No. 1 concern for Latinos and it has been for a long part of this campaign, but they just do not buy the smaller government argument,” said DeFrancesco Soto. “And we know this from years of polling that Latinos prefer a more active government, especially when it comes to health care.”
Although a variety of polls show overwhelming Latino support for Obama, the lack of immigration reform has the potential to become some sort of obstacle. DeFrancesco Soto warned Jansing that Latino voters “have forgiven but not forgotten,” but the main focus must remain on the economy.