A new poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney among Latino voters by a whopping margin of 66% to 23%. Romney's woeful numbers are little changed over the past few months, indicating that Latinos are willing to overlook Obama's inability to pass immigration reform if the alternative is a man who has endorsed "self-deportation" and voiced support for anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama.
To put the new poll in perspective, in 2008, according to exit polls, Obama won Latinos by 67% to John McCain's 31%. So, if all those Latino voters who told pollsters in this most recent poll that they are undecided, if all of them break to Romney, Obama will still come close to his margins in 2008.
The Politico story mentioned above notes that Obama's numbers are even stronger in a poll of California Latinos. There, the president leads by 74% to 18%. That means, of course, that Obama's numbers among Latinos in other states are not as robust. Still, if Obama can do as well among Latinos in 2012 as he did in 2008, he should be able to hold on to swing states like Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, where the Latino vote is enormous, and he might also have a leg up in states like Virginia which have smaller but growing Latino populations and where Latinos might prove decisive.