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How well will Gingrich and Romney do with Florida Latinos?

Polls in Florida have shows a virtual dead heat between Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but the results of a new Florida Latino voter study released by pollsters Latino Decisions with Univision and ABC News are showing Romney now in the lead, in spite of Gingrich's stronger outreach efforts and Romney's hardline stance on immigration.

An analysis on the Latino Decisions site today delves deeper into the puzzle as next week's Florida primary nears, with links to the complete poll results:

Less than a week before the primary, Mitt Romney"s favorability among Latinos in Florida is at 40%, comfortably ahead of Newt Gingrich"s 33% approval. More specifically, Romney"s favorables are not only higher but his unfavorables are lower than Gingrich"s. When these Latino voters were asked who they would vote for, Romney"s favorability ratings translated into solid vote intentions, 35%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20%, Ron Paul at 6%, and Rick Santorum at 8%.

Gingrich may be surging among the general electorate in Florida, but among Floridian Latinos a surge has yet to materialize. They refuse to embrace Newt Gingrich even though he is the only candidate that has coordinated a consistent Latino outreach effort since late 2010. His is the only campaign with a full fledged Spanish language website,, which greets the Latino visitors with a list of 10 reasons why he"s their guy. Romney on the other hand has a a rinky-dink English language page that looks like a low-tech blog.

The lack of Latino love for Gingrich is even more puzzling given he has stood alone among the GOP primary candidates in his less draconian views toward immigration reform.

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