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Poll: Latinos prefer Obama to GOP, but enthusiasm wanes

Latino voters might be less enthusiastic about President Obama than in 2008, though they still strongly prefer him to Republican alternatives, a new poll found Wednesday.

Obama would best former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Herman Cain by wide margins among Hispanics, according to a new Univision News poll of registered Hispanic voters.

Sixty-seven percent of Latino voters would choose Obama over Romney, for whom 24 percent would vote; Obama would beat Cain, too, 65-22 percent.

And Obama would perform even better against Perry, despite the Texas governor's record in a border state with a strong Latino population. Perry has weathered criticism from GOP primary opponents as a relative liberal on immigration because of his opposition to a complete border fence and his defense of a bill he had signed granting in-state college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. Obama would beat Perry, 68-21 percent, among Latino voters.

Moreover, those poll numbers suggest that Obama still enjoys a similar margin over Republicans as he did in 2008, when he beat Arizona Sen. John McCain 67-31 percent among Latinos, according to that year's exit polls.

The numbers suggest that another another key demographic group remains in the president's corner heading into his tough re-election battle; an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this week -- which was also sponsored by theGrio -- found that African American voters prefer Obama, by even wider margins.

But the big battle for the president's campaign might be in turning out Hispanic voters, especially in swing-states like Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona -- among others.

Forty-seven percent of Hispanic voters told Univision they were more enthusiastic about voting in 2008 versus 2012; 32 percent said they are more excited about voting, compared to 17 percent who said their level of excitement is about the same.

(Compare that to the NBC/WSJ numbers: 59 percent of African Americans said they are more enthusiastic in 2012, versus 29 percent who are less excited, at 12 percent who said they feel the same.)

Hispanic voters also admit a degree of Obama fatigue, too. Fifty-three percent said they were less excited about Obama after three years of his presidency; 29 percent of Latinos were more excited.

The Univision/Latino Decision poll was conducted Nov. 2, and has a 3.1 percent margin of error.