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% of Latino voters, while 25% 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% 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%.”

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

  • 58 percent have no opinion or have never heard of Michele Bachmann
  • 41 percent have never heard of Newt Gingrich
  • 59 percent do not know libertarian Ron Paul
  • 75 percent do not know or have no opinion of Jon Huntsman
  • Only 24 percent said they have never heard of Sarah Palin — who will not run

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.”

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