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New Romney ad targets Hispanic voters, blasts economy as 'dismal'

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is ramping up efforts to appeal to Latino voters, releasing a new Web ad Tuesday directly rebutting a Spanish-language campaign ad from President Obama that asserts the country is on "the right path."

The ad opens with the clip from the president's commercial, which shows Obama shaking hands on a factory floor as a woman says, in Spanish, "We still have not arrived at where we want to be. But we know that we’re on the right path."

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The commercial then cuts to stylized pictures of Hispanic men and women, with discouraging facts about the economy displayed in onscreen text.

"Since Obama took office, unemployment for Hispanics is up," the commercial reads. "In the last month, Hispanic unemployment went from 10.3 percent to 11 percent."

The ad then returns to the statement from the president's commercial arguing the country is on the "right path," before cutting to a picture of Obama with text reading, "Really?"

"The Obama campaign recently released a Spanish-language Web ad asserting that 'We’re on the right path.' Mitt Romney disagrees and believes that rising unemployment and more Hispanics in poverty is not the 'right path' for our country. America can do better and, with Mitt Romney as president, we will," the Romney campaign said in a statement.

A Spanish-language version of the Web ad will also be released.

President Obama has maintained a large lead among Hispanic voters since the beginning of the presidential campaign, and Democrats are quietly confident that the advantage could provide the tipping point, especially in pivotal Southwestern swing states. 

In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late last month, 61 percent of Hispanic voters said they would vote for President Obama were the election held today, versus just 27 percent choosing Romney. More Hispanic voters see Romney negatively than positively, and only 22 percent say they view the Republican Party in a positive light.