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Poll Projects Heavy Latino Voter Turnout Despite Skepticism

Hispanic voter turnout could reach record levels this year even though many Latinos believe it makes no difference whether President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins.

A weekly tracking poll by ImpreMedia conducted Oct. 19-25 and released today found 87 percent of self-identified Latino voters plan to vote Nov. 6, compared with 37 percent when the news and information firm began conducting the surveys 10 weeks ago.

While 45 percent of respondents said they are more enthusiastic about voting this year compared with 2008, many are skeptical about the presidential candidates’ ability to make progress on issues such as taxes, health care and immigration.

Though more than half of respondents said prospects for an overhaul of immigration laws are better under a second Obama administration than in a Romney presidency, 37 percent said it will make no difference if Obama wins, while 32 percent said it will make no difference if Romney prevails. Slightly less than half of respondents believe either man will improve the degree of compromise and cooperation in Congress.

“The poll shows that this year we can anticipate record participation among Latino voters,” said Monica Lozano, CEO of ImpreMedia. “However, Latinos are also realistic about what it will take to make real progress on the issues they care about.”

Despite the general skepticism, the poll shows Republicans have a tougher task making their case to the group in the final week of the campaign. Seventy-three percent of Latino voters trust Obama and the Democrats to make the right decisions to improve the economy compared with only 18 percent that trust Romney and the Republicans.

ImpreMedia projects that about 8 percent of Latino voters have already voted.

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