Week 5 of the ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions 2012 Tracking Poll reveals stabilizing numbers in the Presidential election, growing Latino support in the generic House ballot and—perhaps most importantly for Democratic prospects overall and most disheartening for Republicans—significant growth in Latino enthusiasm for the election. [Download full week 5 results here]
Horserace and Congressional Vote
We find President Obama leading Governor Romney 69-24 (and 7% undecided), which represents a three-point growth in his advantage over last week (which was 68-26). While this growth is within the margin-of-error, the trend over the last four weeks is unmistakable and statistically significant. In weeks 1 and 2, we found the president’s support at 65% and 64%, respectively. In the three weeks since, we found the President’s support at 66% in week 3, 68% in week 4 and 69% in week 5. Meanwhile, Governor Romney’s support peaked at 30% in the week of the RNC but has declined every week to its current low of 24%. Anyway you cut it, President Obama appears to be consolidating his advantage among Latino voters.
While the numbers are not as resounding, Democratic support has likewise grown on the generic House ballot. Democratic support fell from 64% to 58% across the first weeks with the impact of the RNC, but has recovered to 67% this week, exceeding the previous high. By contrast, GOP support in the generic House ballot maxed out at 27% in the week after the RNC but has now retreated to just 22%, with 11% still undecided.
The Disappearing Enthusiasm Problem
Perhaps more vexing for the GOP than the negligible or absent impact of their convention or campaign is the substantial growth we see in overall Latino enthusiasm. The GOP has been generally advantaged in enthusiasm for most of the cycle, in part due to disappointment from key Democratic constituencies with the President’s first term, and in part because of the unusual level of unity among Republicans with regard to the President. For Latinos, the GOP has largely abandoned persuasion strategies and instead—primarily through the instrument of Super-PACS—messaged around the disappointment theme, particularly on immigration, in hopes of driving down Latino turnout.