Latinos just not that excited by GOP hopefuls

A poll released by Latino Decisions — an organization that focuses on “states in which the Latino vote will play an important role in the 2012 elections” — shows that GOP presidential candidates have low recognition among Latino voters.

According to the Latino Decisions poll released Monday, “none of the Republican presidential candidates has been able to captivate or attract the attention of Latinos until now. In other words, for the time being, among the eight candidates, there is no one equivalent to George W. Bush who would attract a significant percentage of the Latino vote.”

The poll indicates that 46 percent of Latino voters “have never heard of” Mitt Romney and 40 percent “have never heard of” Rick Perry, even though they are the best known among the eight GOP presidential candidates.

“Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and apparent favorite to clinch the nomination, is favored by 28 percent of Latino voters, while 25 percent have an unfavorable impression of him,” the Latino Decisions poll adds.

Perry, the governor of Texas, “is someone few of the country’s Latino voters know: 40 percent of them have no idea who he is. Likewise, his approval level is abysmal and still lower than Romney’s at 22%. His level of disapproval is higher: 39 percent.”

According to the poll Latinos are even less familiar with the rest of the candidates:

>Herman Cain — whom, according to the poll, 73 percent of Latino voters “do not know or have no opinion of” — said over the weekend that “part of his immigration policy would be to build an electrified fence on the country’s border with Mexico that could kill people trying to enter the country illegally” — a statement that received quite a bit of pointed play during the Nevada presidential debate Tuesday night.

A similar statement — that the border should be a moat filled with alligators — was made by Cain earlier this year and drew the ire of Hispanic Republicans. Cain’s latest comment prompted Lauro Garza, Texas director of Somos Republicans, to cut up his GOP membership card and become an independent.