NOTE: This story and its headline have been edited and updated from its original report to reflect new information about the total number of respondents in this Quinnipiac poll.
Governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for President, may be gaining support with US Latino voters, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today. The poll results list Romney’s support at 30% and President Obama’s support at 59%.
This is based on about 2,700 voters. Quinnipiac did not publish how many voters in the national poll identified themselves as Latinos, but according to NBC Latino, the sample was 143 Latino voters and the margin of error was around 8%. Here is what NBC Latino published this afternoon while other outlets are claiming that Romney is indeed gaining ground with US Latino voters:
In a new Quinnipiac poll, in which nine percent of the respondents were Hispanic registered voters, fifty-nine percent of those Latinos polled said they would vote for Barack Obama and 30 percent said they would vote for Mitt Romney. This is a slightly lower number for Obama and a higher number for Romney among Latinos than previous polls. A late June NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll of Latino voters found 26 percent of Latinos favored Romney. The sample of Latinos in this new poll, however, is smaller than other polls; out of 2,722 registered voters, 143 were Latino. This makes the margin of error around 8 percent, which means that Romney’s approval rating among this group could be between 22 and 38 percent, according to University of Washington political scientist Matt Barreto. Also, says University of New Mexico political scientist Gabriel Sánchez, a small sample tends to have less coverage of the sources of variation of the Latino electorate such as region, national origin and language.
“When we are trying to read Latino preferences within a national poll, it is often the case that the Latino sample skews way too English-dominant and under-represents immigrants and Spanish-language speakers, and with a small sample, it carries a huge margin of error,” explains Barreto.
Based on this information, major conclusions are being made on the opinions of 43 US Latino voters.
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Yet this is the first time this year that Romney has reached the 30% market with US Latino voters in a variety of polls, and many outlets are pointing out the stark difference from the 14% support Romney received earlier in the spring and the 25% he got last month. Granted, both those polls were different and more focused on the Latino vote. Meanwhile, President Obama has gone from 73% in the spring poll to 66% in a June poll and is now at 59%, if you compare apples to oranges, which is what these three polls do. In addition, polls like Quinnipiac’s are national in nature and do not solely focus on the US Latino vote, such as polls and interactive maps being conducted by Latino Decisions, which provided more detailed information about the US Latino vote in 2012. Real pundits should be checking that map more often for more accurate tracking and trending.
Here is the question from the Quinnipiac poll:
2. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk Hsp Obama 46% 5% 89% 41% 40% 51% 38% 92% 59% Romney 43 89 4 43 47 39 51 2 30 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 1 2 5 4 2 3 - 4 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 3 1 2 1 1 DK/NA 6 5 4 7 6 6 6 6 6
The poll results suggest that partisan support is solid depending on people’s choices, and says that Romney is leading with men, Whites and up 2 points with Independents. According to the poll, Obama’s support is still with women, African Americans, and Latinos. Right now, Quinnipiac says that President Obama is up three points in the overall poll. In the end, this election is tight. That is one conclusion we can make out of this with confidence.
With a new Spanish blitz and Latino outreach announced this week by the Romney campaign, it is safe to say the campaign will take any news, even from a poll that had 43 Latinos choose their candidate.