President Barack Obama’s approval rating among Latinos slipped to 48 percent in a recent Gallup poll, far from the 60 percent he held as recently as January. Other polling shows him under-performing his 2008 results among Hispanics in key states such as Florida and New Mexico, raising the question of whether Hispanic votes are up for grabs in 2012, The Washington Post’s political blog The Fix
Obama supporters say that, although Hispanics may not support everything the president has done, they will not support a GOP candidate. Obama pollster Joel Benenson noted an August tracking poll from ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions that showed that 72 percent of Hispanic voters said Republicans either don’t care about or are hostile to the Hispanic community, the Post reported.
“Latino voters see a very clear choice,” Benenson told the Post, “between President Obama, who is fighting for measures to restore balance, fairness and the economic security for working and middle-class Latino families through programs like the Dream Act, job training programs and common-sense immigration reform versus a Republican lineup of congressmen and presidential contenders who vehemently oppose and denounce every one of these measures.”
Although Hispanics may not be ready to abandon the president, the margin of support could be important. Obama captured 67 percent of the Latino vote in 2008.
“The question that we won’t know the answer to for some time is whether they will vote for him at the same levels as 2008 or whether their sky-high vote for him will drop,” Republican pollster Glen Bolger told the Post. “Those are the questions that likely have Democrat Latino strategists losing sleep at night.”
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