Nearly six in 10 Hispanics in California intend to vote to re-elect Barack Obama in the November presidential balloting, almost four times the number who support presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a poll released Friday showed.
The survey by The Field Poll indicated that 57 percent of Latinos back the incumbent, 15 percent plan to cast a ballot for the former Massachusetts governor and 28 percent are either undecided or do not plan to vote for either of the two main candidates.
"The state's Latino voters, who now comprise about one quarter of the electorate, favor Obama nearly four to one," the report authored by Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field said.
The report noted that Latinos are a main sub-group that is "contributing heavily to Obama's preference advantage" in California - a state with 55 electoral votes, the most nationally - along with African-Americans, Asians, independents, women and younger and middle-age voters.
Non-Hispanic whites in California, however, narrowly favor Romney by a margin of 44 percent to 41 percent, with 15 percent undecided.
Overall, Obama has a 16 percentage-point lead (48 percent to 32 percent) over the Republican in the state with just over five months until Election Day, the survey showed.
The poll indicated that the proportion of California voters with a favorable perception of the president has fallen over the past four years, from 62 percent when he was a candidate in May 2008 to 53 percent at present, while the proportion who view him unfavorably has climbed from 29 percent to 38 percent in that same timeframe.
Between June 2011 and May 2012, the proportion with a positive view of Romney rose two points to 40 percent, although the percentage of California voters holding a negative opinion of the Republican rose 10 points to 44 percent.
The Field Poll, however, showed less Hispanic support for the president in the state than another voter-preference survey released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California, which found that two out of every three registered Latino voters support Obama's re-election bid.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos voted for Obama by a margin of more than two to one (67 percent to 31 percent) over Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, while in California the Democrat carried 74 percent of the Hispanic vote. EFE