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Poll Shows Strong Latino Support For Obama, Unless Rubio Runs

MIAMI (CBS4) - A new FOX News Latino poll released Monday may have an impact on the race for The White House.

It shows President Obama has more Latino support than any of the Republican candidates, unless Florida Senator Marco Rubio adds his name to the mix.

Although Rubio says he will not run on any ticket, the poll shows he could help Republicans beat the President among Latino voters.

Even so, one GOP strategist says this poll is premature.

"It's hard to have an accurate poll when you don't even have a nominee yet, which tells you how premature this poll is," said Republican Strategist Ana Navarro.

The poll shows that 73 percent of Latino voters approve of President Barack Obama's performance. The closest Republican candidate with that kind of support is Mitt Romney with only 35 percent.

While Navarro doesn't think the timing for this poll is right just yet, she says the Latino electorate is a crucial one.

"Latinos continue being more important in some of the swing states," said Navarro.

This latest poll introduces a game-changer: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. The poll shows that almost one quarter of Latinos said they may vote for a Republican if Rubio was on the ticket as a VP candidate.

"You know, that's not chump change in an election, when you've got a quarter of the electorate saying that they might change their mind if Marco Rubio is on the Republican ticket, that's a very important thing there going for Marco Rubio," said Navarro.

While Rubio's office consistently says the Senator won't be on the November ballot, a Latino group is already attacking Rubio on the air waves.

"We want him to do more than give us nice words and nice speeches, we need him to back the policies that undocumented people care about and also latino voters," said Felipe Mator of the group that produced the commercial, "Presente action.

"But there's this inspirational and aspirational quality to someone like a Marco Rubio being on the Republican ticket, and the Latino/Hispanic mother anywhere in the country being able to turn to her little child and say, one day, that could be you," said Navarro.

Navarro also says it's hard for anyone to turn down a VP candidate role once the offer is made.

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