A new poll among Florida’s Latino voters shows that President Barack Obama’s lead on Mitt Romney is shrinking, which could spell trouble for the president in the crucial swing state.Obama leads Romney 51-44 among likely Latino voters in the state, according to a new FIU/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll. It’s a stark difference from the rest of the nation with Latino voters, and it serves as a primary reason that Romney has built a significant, 7-point lead in the state, according to the same poll.
Compare that number to the rest of the nation — Obama leads Latinos by an astounding 67-23 margin, according to the latest tracking poll from the firm Latino Decisions. In its latest Florida poll, Latino Decisions found Obama with a 61-31 lead over Romney.
“We find that Romney performs best in Florida, but not as strong as this poll shows,” said Sylvia Manzano, a senior analyst at Latino Decisions. “That suggests some big methodological differences.”
One methodological difference is that the FIU poll does not weigh by national origin, whereas Latino Decisions does. FIU Political Science Professor Eduardo Gamarra, who conducted the poll, said in a webcast today that he did not weigh the poll by national origin.
That’s important because FIU does not weigh the sample of Cuban-Americans to match Florida’s population. Cuban-Americans tend to vote more Republican than other Latinos. In the unidentified sample in the FIU poll, Cuban-Americans were the only demographic that identified as more Republican than Democrat.
“This is not a sample weighed by Cubans,” Gamarra said. “If I had weighted more by Cubans, in fact, the vote for President Obama would have been much higher.”
That reconciles some of the differences between the Florida polling. The key number for Obama in Florida is 57 per cent — that’s the share of the Latino vote he won in 2008, according to exit polling.
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