WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Latino registered voters favor President Barack Obama over rival Mitt Romney 3-1 but are less sure than voters in general they'll vote, a poll indicated.
They also overwhelmingly favor photo identification laws that will be enforced for the first time in 11 states Nov. 6.
Hispanic voters say they prefer the Democratic president over the Republican nominee 69 percent to 21 percent and express growing satisfaction with the direction of the nation and the state of their personal finances, the Pew Hispanic Center poll indicated.
Obama's lead grows to 72 percent to 22 percent among Hispanic registered voters who say they're "absolutely certain" they will vote next month, and shrinks to 66 percent to 20 percent for Romney among Hispanic registered voters who say they "may" vote, the poll indicated.
The portion of those who say they're absolutely certain they'll vote is 12 percentage points less than the portion of registered voters in general who say the same.
Seventy-seven percent of Latino registered voters say they're absolutely certain they will vote this year, the poll said. By comparison, 89 percent of all registered voters say the same thing, a separate Pew Research Center general-public survey taken at the same time indicated.
Similarly, 61 percent of Latino registered voters say they've thought "quite a lot" about the presidential election, while 70 percent of registered voters in the general public say they have.
At the same time as Hispanic registered voters say they're less sure than registered voters in general that they will vote, two-thirds of Latino adults say they believe Hispanic voters will have a "major impact" on determining who will be the next president.
A record 23.7 million Latinos -- a record 11 percent of the nation's eligible electorate -- are eligible to vote next month, an increase of more than 4 million, or 9.5 percent, since 2008. If 77 percent vote, the figure is about 18.3 million, a United Press International calculation indicated.
The Pew poll found 61 percent of Latinos say they consider the Democratic Party the party that's more concerned about Latinos, up from 45 percent in 2011, while 10 percent say this about the Republican Party, down from 2011's 12 percent.
Education, jobs and the economy, and healthcare are the top three issues for Hispanic registered voters, the poll found, followed by the federal budget deficit, immigration and taxes.
Seventy-one percent of Latinos say they support photo ID laws for voters, just 6 percentage points less than the general population's 77 percent saying this, the poll found.
Eleven states -- Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Tennessee -- have such laws in effect this year.
Ninety-seven percent of all Latino registered voters -- as well as a nearly identical 95 percent of Latino registered voters in those 11 states -- say they're confident they have the proper identification they'll need to vote on Election Day.
The bilingual phone poll of 1,765 Latinos, including 903 registered voters, was taken Sept. 7 to Oct. 4. It has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points for the full sample and 4.6 percentage points for registered voters.
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