Mitt Romney’s promise to veto a measure that would create a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants threatens to turn off some Hispanic voters, whose support could be critical in a general election match-up against President Barack Obama.

The issue is gaining prominence as the Republican front-runner heads toward the Jan. 31 primary in Florida, even though most of the state’s Hispanics are Puerto Rican or Cuban-American and, thus, aren’t affected by U.S. immigration law, nor view it as a priority. Still, it’s a state where 13 percent of registered voters are Hispanic, where the nation’s largest Spanish-language TV networks are based and where the nation’s third-largest number of illegal immigrants live — intensifying the focus on Romney’s position.