ANALYSIS: Obama Could Lose Without Black, Latino, Youth Vote

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The poll says Latinos believe the economy is the most important issue in the presidential campaign that Romney and the Republican Party has been unable to convince Latino voters that the GOP can improve the economy and put people back to work.

In a separate survey conducted by Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the poll concluded that if the election were held today, Obama would win the youth vote by 52% to 35%.

Support for Obama rose more than 7 points among likely voters: up from 44.4% in July while support for Romney is down slightly from 36.9% to 35.1% among likely, registered voters, according to the poll.

“The racial and ethnic group breakout shows that there is a rise in intent to vote among the three groups whom we polled in large numbers, with an impressive three quarters of Black youth intending to vote,” said CIRCLE Director Peter Levine.

The poll asked young people to pick their top issue. The percentage of youth who chose “Jobs and the Economy” rose and it remained the number-one issue, at 37.9%.

Here are some key findings:

●       The proportion saying they are extremely likely to vote has risen 9.9 points, from 44.7% to 54.6%. Two-thirds (67.3%) of young adults are “very” or “extremely” likely to vote, up 7.1 percentage points since June/July.
●       The proportion who are paying attention to the election has also risen, from 56.1% to 71%.
●       If the election were held today, Obama would win the youth vote by 52% to 35% among those registered voters who are “extremely likely to vote.”

Alexandra Acker-Lyons, director of the Youth Engagement Fund, said young Americans are a critical voting bloc to both campaigns.

“Young voters have been targeted in the last few weeks,” Acker-Lyons said. “But with young voters comprising one quarter of the electorate, the campaigns — having spent one billion dollars each — and the media remain focused on seniors and other sectors of the electorate. Politicians underestimate the youth vote at their own peril. Young voters have the power to decide this election.”

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