Jansing and Co   |  June 11, 2012

Voto Latino: 22 million Latinos eligible to vote in 2012

A new $4 million ad campaign has launched targeting the Latino vote in three battleground states. Labor Union SEIU and pro-Obama Super PAC, Priorities USA, are behind the Spanish language ads which focus on Mitt Romney’s economic stances. Pollster Matt Barreto discusses.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back talking about the fast-growing latino vote, could be key for barack obama . the question is, can his campaign get them registered and get them to the polls. let's bring in matt beretta. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> your group has a cool new interactive map that really explains the impact of latino turnout. walk us through it.

>> sure thing. what we found is that as latino registration numbers are steadily increasing, they're still slow. there are a number of states outside the traditional states where the latino vote can influence the outcome of this election. that's what we're looking at in our interactive map. users can increase or decrease the latino vote or increase or decrease the vote for obama and show how the states will change. states will flip from leaning blue to leaning red. you'll see just how important the latino vote can be in a number of states across the country this year.

>> give us an idea of some of the states might not expect. we always talking about florida and places like new mexico and arizona. what are some of the places that people might be surprised where a loatino vote could make a difference this year?

>> sure. the latino population and registered voters has been growing in states like virginia, north carolina , ohio, indiana, maybe even pennsylvania these are states sort of southeast and rust belt states where the latino population is growing very fast. and there's been tremendous efforts by different latino registration groups to increase that civic participation and bring more latinos on board. the polls are showing that a lot of those states are very, very close, neck and neck. so even states where latinos are only 3% or 4% of the electorate, that might swing the election.

>> because as we saw in richard lui 's piece, the most recent polling show that is latinos overwhelmingly support barack obama . the latest what's behind those numbers?

>> i think what you've seen is that romney has nod had an ability to make that personal connection. he hasn't been able to sell something specifically to latinos that they feel comfortable with. so when he talks about repealing the health care bill on day one, we find regularly in our polling that latinos were very supportive of the health care bill and health care reform . hef the highest rates of being uninsured. and romney had to go far right on the immigration issue. he's trying to backpedal from that now. but that caused a lot of damage. those statements have really resonated with latinos in a negative light. i think it's the case more right now not that obama's doing anything spectacular but rather romney just hasn't been able to get a foothold at all.

>> i guess the big question, then, for the obama campaign is why aren't more latinos registering and voting?

>> i think voter registration is the big $64,000 question for latinos . we really need to see an increase in that. back in 2008 , you saw the obama campaign do record registration. we hadn't seen that before from a presidential campaign . a big question is whether they'll continue that. one of the factors affecting latino votes is they have a lower level of confidence in government, not only did you talk about the record deportations but the economy continues to affect latinos very negatively. and it's not clear right now that either of the two parties are going out of their way to court or to produce for latino voters. there's a lot of bickering right now. i think latinos are looking at the situation and saying, what's the incentive? and the parties need to do that outreach. they need to make that connection and then you will see latino voter registration and participation increase. but we haven't seen that yet, that full-court press from either of the political parties .

>> matt, great to see you. thank you.