The latest data from the Latino Decisions tracking poll shows 77.5% of Latino registered voters support the DREAM Act amendment, versus just 11.5% who oppose. The new data come from updated tracking poll interviews collected September 17-23, 2010, the week during which the DREAM Act amendment faced a procedural vote in the Senate. At the same time, the Democrats saw a favorable turn in perceptions that they were working on immigration reform. Last week, our data indicated 61.1% of Latinos felt Democrats were either ignoring or blocking immigration reform; which dropped to 53.8% this week. Likewise, the percent who thought Dems were actively working on passing reform went up from 25.7% to 30.8% in one week.
However, the question remains if Reid’s push for the DREAM Act was too little too late? While an overwhelming majority support the effort, we find relative stability in the two-party vote choice for 2010 congressional midterm elections. Overall, 53.1% said they will vote Democrat (51.1% last week, and 53.6% two weeks ago) compared to 20.4% who will vote Republican (21.6% last week), with a large percentage still stating undecided. The record for Democrats is indeed mixed, as a recent L.A. Times/USC survey conducted by Latino Decisions suggests. On the one hand, our California poll found similarities to the national tracking data with Democrat Jerry Brown leading 54% to 28% among likely Latino voters. On the other hand, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer has staked out a very wide lead among Latinos in California 66% to 26%. While each state has a different election environment, the national tracking poll data still provides important insights on a week-by-week basis, and on that front, Democrats have yet to make significant moves over the past five weeks.
Latino voters continue to rate fixing the economy and immigration the top issues heading into the November election. While Congressional approval continues to suffer, standing at 41.9% approve, President Obama remains more popular among Latinos with 67.4% somewhat or strongly approving of his job performance. Republicans continue to suffer losses among Latino voters, with 71.3% now saying they are “less excited” about the GOP today as compared to last year. On September 6, our tracking poll reported 63.2% were less excited about the GOP, leaving their image worsening among Latino voters heading into October.