Latest Presidential Polls, Early Voting Numbers; African American and Latino Voters Supporting Obama

With the election just two weeks away and early voting numbers being reported, large demographic groups are weighing in on their views.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both campaigned heavily for the Latino vote, but Obama appears to have the edge.

According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo (NBC) poll, Obama leads Romney 70-25 percent among Latino likely voters.

That poll also follows along the same lines as another weekly tracking poll of registered Latino voters done by Latino Decision, a political opinion research firm, which showed Obama leading 70-21 percent.

The NBC poll was done from Oct. 17-20 with a margin of error of 6.8 percent among likely voters and 5.7 percent among registered voters. The Latino Decisions poll was conducted from Oct. 12-18 with a margin of error of 5.6 percent among registered voters.

Governor Romney has attempted to soften the negative image he has with may Latino voters. According to the NBC poll, 57 percent say they have a negative view of Romney with only 26 percent viewing him positively. The Latino Decision poll shows that 49 percent say the Republican Party doesn't care h about Latinos, and another 21 percent even say the GOP is hostile to their community.

Another large group that helped reinforce the base of Obama's 2008 campaign is the African-American vote. However, since the economic downturn there has been less enthusiasm in African-American voters toward Obama's reelection.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, Obama has 90 percent support from African-Americans down from 95 percent that helped him become the first black President of the United States.

The Atlanta Black Star quoted Earl Ofari Hutchinson, political analyst and author, saying, "Obama has clearly lost some support among his base."

Hutchinson continued: "He had strong support among women; that's down a little bit from where it was in 2008. I think the one element of his base that's remained pretty steady and consistent and overwhelmingly supportive is African-Americans.

Some of the early voting numbers are being released. According to News and Observer, Catawba College's political expert Michael Bitzer says that:

"On the first day of early voting, more than 49,000 more votes were cast this year than in 2008, and the three subsequent days also saw more votes cast than on the same days four years ago: by 40,000, 24,000, and 8,600 respectively."

Bitzer talked about the demographic composition of the early numbers:

"One other facet of early voters could be the racial composition. In 2008, black registered voters made up 22% of the entire electorate, but that combines both early voting and Election Day voting. Among early voters, black voters were 29% of all the early votes cast, with white voters being 67% of all the ballots cast in early voting. In the first four days of early voting, black voters are 35% of the early votes cast and are building on their numbers from four years ago; white voters are down to 60% of the votes cast.  All other races--Asian, Native American, and others--are 5% of the votes cast so far."

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