Latinos' Approval Of President Obama Plummets; Potential Major Problem For Democrats

Hispanics are the most disappointed by President Barack Obama, according to a new Gallup Poll.

While the president’s job approval rating dropped 12 percent among the general population over the last year, declining from 53 percent last December to 41 percent in November, it plunged twice as much among Latinos.

Obama’s approval rating dropped 23 points among Latinos, from 75 percent in December, 2012 to 52 percent in November.

Latinos played a critical role in the president’s re-election, with 71 percent of the community’s voters casting their ballots for him.

The report on the poll results noted that the waning support for Obama among Latinos may spell trouble for Democrats running for office in 2014.

“It is…a troubling sign for the Democratic Party, given that Hispanics represent an increasingly important segment of the electorate,” the Gallup report said.

Latinos, the report said, have varied the most of any group on their feelings about Obama during the course of his presidency.

“That means their views of him are less firmly anchored than those of other groups, which may help explain why their opinions of the president soured more than any other group's in recent months,” it said. “Despite the significant decline in their approval ratings over the past 12 months, a majority of Hispanics, 52 percent, still approve of the job Obama is doing.”

Still, Latinos have showed that they are willing to support Republicans.

Former President George W. Bush won about 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won 51 percent of the Latino vote in his recent re-election bid.

Obama’s approval rating showed above-average declines among low-income Americans, nonwhites, moderates, and moderates who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party.

Obama was re-elected with a 50 percent job approval rating, rising to 53 percent a month later.
Battles with Republicans in Congress soon followed, hampering his ability to push forward policies and measures – such as immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act – that he had described as priorities.

“As a result, his job approval declined to 41 percent in November, matching the lowest monthly average of his presidency to date,” the Gallup report said.

While Republican resistance to his policies, to be sure, have played a part in Obama’s failure to move forward on various issues, Latinos have placed blame on the president for not doing a better job of fighting for immigration reform or making sure Spanish-speaking residents can sign up for the health care plan.

Many have been particularly critical of the record number of deportations that have occurred during Obama’s presidency. Latinos account for the vast majority of people who have been deported.

On Thursday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, held a press conference in Washington D.C. in which they said Obama can take steps, on his own, to stem the deportations.

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