The Hill’s Ballot Box blog reports on President Obama’s bumpy road to re-election. Latinos maybe his biggest road block. For the first time, Hispanic support for Obama has slippedbelow 50 percent.
“President Obama’s job approval rating from Hispanics has slipped below 50 percent for the first time, according to Gallup’s latest poll, an ominous sign for the president as he heads into campaign season.
Just 48 percent of Hispanics approve of the job Obama has done, while 37 percent disapprove. This is down from a 60 percent approval rating as recently as January, an erosion that came later than his slipping numbers with Anglo voters. This trend should worry Obama: Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the country, and there are high numbers of Hispanic voters in swing states including New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and even Virginia….
Read more here
The drop in support is due in large part to the dismal economy. Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by the recession and are facing a higher than average unemployment rate of 11.3 percent.
President Obama has done himself no favors with Latinos, as he has backtracked on his promise to tackle immigration reform. Now three years into his Presidency, the Obama administration starting paying attention to Latinos and has launched some new (politically motivated) initiatives to gain Hispanic support.
This week the White House hosted a Hispanic Summit in Orlando, billed as the administration’s first outside the beltway Hispanic summit. It was clearly aimed at wooing swing state voters in Florida (Seems like all the White House “non-political” events are in battleground states?). The Obama team has focused intently on the central Florida Latino vote and it’s large Puerto Rican community.
According to the Orlando Sentinel Florida’s Hispanic voters are expected to top 1.6 million in 2012, a 34 percent increase in four years.