Pollster: Romney's weak Hispanic numbers could cost him election

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All four states have large, and growing, Hispanic populations. Early voting in Nevada has heavily favored Democrats, and strategists on both sides of the aisle expect Obama to win there, while Florida, Colorado and Virginia have all remained pure toss-up contests in recent polling. Florida and Virginia are considered must-wins for Romney.

If these numbers prove correct, that would be Democrats' largest edge in history with Hispanics, at a time when the fast-growing population is quickly gaining electoral importance. Then-President George W. Bush topped 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won 31 percent in 2008, according to exit polls. A Romney campaign surrogate told The Hill in August that the campaign hoped to reach 38 percent of the Hispanic vote this election.

Latino likely voters break for Obama by 73 to 24 percent in the poll, and 55 percent of them say they're more enthusiastic about voting this election than in 2008, while just 22 percent say they were more enthusiastic four years ago. Many Republican pollsters have predicted Hispanic turnout to remain flat or even decrease from four years ago, explaining some of the disparity between GOP polls and nonpartisan and Democratic polls in the last few weeks of the campaign.

The poll of 300 Hispanic registered voters was conducted in English and Spanish from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 and has a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points.