Have recent media reports about weak voter motivation among Latinos and last week's infamous "don't vote" ads - unaired television ads from a GOP-afiliated group telling Latinos not to vote - had the unexpected effect of whipping up enthusiasm among the Latino electorate?
The most recent in a series of weekly tracking polls from the Latino Decisions polling firm is showing a steadily growing number of Latinos who say they are "very enthusiastic" about voting in November. From the report:
For the fourth straight week, we find an increase in the percentage of Latino registered voters who report being very enthusiastic about voting in November 2010. Four weeks ago just 40.3% of Latinos said they were very enthusiastic, and today that figures reaches 58.3%. Self-reported turnout certainty remained constant at 75.1% from one week ago, up 10 point from four weeks ago.
As election day draws near, and early voting is in full swing, Latinos are reportedly showing more and more interest and enthusiasm. In response to the “don’t vote” campaign, Univision and Telemundo are both increasing their get-out-the-vote public service announcements, and Latino civic groups such as NALEO, NCLR, Mi Familia Vota and others are doubling their efforts to mobilize Latino voters down the stretch. With close statewide elections for Governor and U.S. Senate in nearly a dozen states with sizable Latino electorates, Latino voter turnout could make the difference in many of these contests.
Interesting, according to the polling firm's report, there is less enthusiasm among voters identified as "surge voters" who turned out to the polls in 2008.
In a story today in Politico, Latino Decisions pollster Matt Barreto said that he attributed the growing enthusiasm in part to the anti-immigrant message of some Republican campaigns, and to get-out-the-vote efforts by Latino groups and labor unions.