Guillermo Clinton’s star power with Latinos


San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at the Democratic National Convention (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The latest tracking poll by Latino Decisions — which includes data reflecting the full impact of the party conventions — finds Obama picked up three points to 68 percent while Romney was at 26 percent.

Sen. John McCain got about 31 percent of the Latino vote in 2008, President George W. Bush an estimated 35 percent in 2000 and about 40 percent in 2004. A Romney strategist has said he will need to pick up 38 percent to win.

But most every analyst who assess the Latino vote immediately pivots to asking: “But will they turn out?”

And that’s where the latest poll shows an even rockier road for Romney.

And that’s where the latest poll shows an even rockier road for Romney. Before the two conventions, the weekly tracking found a slight enthusiasm deficit compared with four years ago, with 37 percent of Latinos more enthusiastic about voting this time around, compared with 40 percent who were more enthused in 2008. The new pool reverses those numbers and then some, with 40 percent more enthusiastic about this year and only 30 percent looking more favorably at 2008.

And it’s pretty clear where former President Bill Clinton is going to be in the next 49 days.

The poll found Obama with an impressive 71 percent approval rating and Romney dropping a bit to 24 percent. But Clinton has a stunning 82 percent favorability rating among Latinos.

Other polls have found Clinton’s got a 67 percent favorability rating among all seniors.

So that may be a clue to his forthcoming travel plans. (Note to Bill: take lots of sunscreen.)

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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