Mitt Romney Is Way Behind With Latino Voters, And Paul Ryan Might Be Making Things Worse

Paul Ryan Mitt Romney

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A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll continues to put presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney way behind among Latino voters nationwide, something that is not likely to change with his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate. The poll — the first national poll since Ryan’s selection — gives President Barack Obama a commanding 63 per cent to 28 per cent lead among Latino voters. The split is actually an improvement from last month, when Romney trailed 67 to 23. But it’s well behind the Romney campaign’s self-identified target of 38 per cent, which Romney Hispanic leadership team co-chair Jose Fuentes told The Hill this week.

And of the voters that had a shift in opinion, 28 per cent said the selection of Ryan made them less likely to support Romney, compared with 15 per cent who said it made them more likely. 

There are a number of other indicators that don’t suggest Latinos are welcoming the choice of Ryan. Only 33 per cent think he’s in the “mainstream of most Americans’ thinking,” only slightly ahead of Romney. He’s also 22 points behind Joe Biden and 49 points behind Obama in net-favorability ratings. 

Sylvia Manzano, a senior analyst at the polling firm Latino Decisions, doesn’t expect that to change. 

“Most Latinos disagree with the policy solutions that Paul Ryan has been proposing over the past couple of years,” Manzano told Business Insider

Three issues in particular are sensitive for Latinos. By a 51-point margin, Latino Decisions found that Latinos oppose cutting Medicare, a number that’s even higher than the general population. He also voted against the DREAM Act and has preferred a more enforcement-heavy approach to the issue of immigration. 

“He has even used the term ‘anchor babies,’” Manzano said, referring to remarks Ryan made at an April 2011 town hall event. 

Ryan has also been open to easing restrictions on the trade embargo with Cuba — a stance that could hurt him with Cuban-American voters — though he has tried to soften that position as of late.

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