President Barack Obama has expanded his already substantial advantage over likely Republican rival Mitt Romney, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released Wednesday shows.
The Democratic incumbent leads the former Massachusetts governor by a margin of 66 percent to 26 percent in the survey, which was conducted June 20-24 among 300 Hispanic adults and has a margin of error of 5.66 percent.
Obama was ahead of Romney by 61 percent to 27 percent last month.
The president's job approval among Latinos rose four percentage points to 65 percent in the latest survey, compared with a rating of only 47 percent among the population as a whole.
Asked about the candidates' likability, Romney was viewed positively by 21 percent of Hispanics, while 67 percent said they had a positive impression of Obama.
Unsurprisingly, the survey found that 87 percent of Hispanics support the president's recent decision to suspend deportations of qualified undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
And despite the sluggish recovery, 62 percent of Latinos said they approve of Obama's management of the U.S. economy, up from 54 percent last month.
Only 42 percent of people in general express support for the Democrat's economic policies.
The poll is not all good news for Obama, as Latino voters are less enthusiastic about this year's presidential contest than they were in 2008.
Though 80 percent of Hispanics were "very interested" in the election four years ago, only 66 percent describe themselves that way now, while 76 percent of Latinos say they will almost certainly cast ballots in November.
Conversely, among groups seen as likely to vote for Romney, including registered Republicans, Tea Party partisans and people who backed GOP nominee John McCain in 2008, the number of people expressing high interest in the election ranged from 80 percent to 89 percent.
Hispanics, who traditionally favor Democrats, are the country's largest minority and their votes could determine the election outcome in several swing states, notably Florida.
Obama picked up nearly two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008.
Both Romney and the president spoke last week at the annual convention of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, an influential nonpartisan organization.
The GOP hopeful used the occasion to tout his plan for immigration reform and to attack Obama on the economy, pointing to Hispanic unemployment of 11 percent, significantly above the overall jobless rate of 8.2 percent. EFE