A new tracking poll survey released today by Latino Decisions shows a clear majority of Latinos approve of President Barack Obama, however his ratings are down by almost 10 points since March 2010. In the latest Latino Decisions tracking poll for August 30, 64.6% of Latino registered voters approved of the job being done by Obama, down from 73% in March, and down from his high mark of 81% in April 2009 at his 100 days mark.
While Obama approval stands at 64.6%, congressional approval is much lower, with just 45% approval and 45% disapproval among Latino registered voters. Heading into the midterm elections, Latino voters plan to vote Democrat, though a high percent remain uncommitted two months out — 52% plan to vote Democrat, 23% Republican, and 25% say they are undecided. The top issues to Latino voters continue to be the economy (36% most important), immigration reform (30%), job creation (21%), and health care (14%).
Since the passage of Arizona’s SB1070, immigration has increased in importance to Latino voters, and both political parties have been blamed for the current stalemate. On the one hand, Republicans are seen as the party promoting anti-immigrant policies and face low approval. On the other hand, Democrats are seen as stalling or ignoring the issue and have not been able to energize the Latino electorate. In a May 2010 poll among Latino voters in Arizona we found that 59% blamed Republicans and 33% blamed both parties for SB1070, while over 60% said the Democrats did not do enough to stop the law from being passed.
Now, we find that 64% of Latino registered voters nationally oppose SB1070, and conversely 66% support the DOJ lawsuit against the state of Arizona. Latinos continued to show frustration with both parties on the issue of immigration: 38% said the Democrats are ignoring the issue of immigration reform and 14% said Democrats are opposing reform, just 32% agreed Democrats were trying to address immigration. For Republicans, 36% said the GOP was ignoring immigration reform, 34% said they were opposing reform, and just 16% said the GOP was working on it. While 52% approved of Obama’s handling of immigration, 40% disapproved.
Enthusiasm for Midterms?
While 76% of Latino registered voters say they are following news about politics and the November elections closely, just 44% say they are very enthusiastic about voting, and a majority state they are less excited about both Democrats and Republicans today, than they were in 2008. While 32% say they are more excited about the Democrats since the 2008 election, 51% are less excited today. For the Republicans, just 20% are more excited versus 60% who are less excited. While the previous midterm in 2006 brought renewed interest in political participation among Latinos, followed by historic turnout levels in 2008, the 2010 midterm election is not currently exhibiting the same trends.
- Full results of the survey are posted here