A new Gallup Poll finds President Barack Obama’s stock is rising among Hispanic voters when compared to August, although down a bit from last month:
In January, 70% of Hispanics approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing, down slightly from 75% in December. However, the January measure still represents an increase of 12 percentage points since last August, just prior to the Democratic National Convention.
The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking throughout January. During that time, Gallup polled 1,288 Hispanics, with roughly one-third of those interviews conducted in Spanish.
The timing of the increase in Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics suggests the presidential election campaign may have been a significant factor in Hispanics’ renewed enthusiasm for him, starting with the Democratic National Convention in early September through the election and the initial post-election phase. According to the National Exit Poll, Hispanics voted for Obama over Mitt Romney by 71% to 27%.
Obama’s popularity is also up among all Americans since late summer, rising from 45% in August to 52% in January, though the January estimate is also down slightly from December’s 53%. That seven-point August to January increase among all Americans is only about half as large as the increase for Hispanics over the same months.
Hispanic job approval of Obama is now nearly back to where it was early in his first year in office, when roughly three in four Hispanics approved of Obama. The early part of 2009 — the president’s “honeymoon period” — was also when Obama’s approval rating was highest among all Americans.
Gallup sees these implications:
Even with a slight decline in his approval rating among Hispanics in January, President Obama now enjoys as strong a position with this group as he has since early in his presidency. A major priority of his second term is immigration reform, an issue of keen interest to Hispanics. Should it pass — and the momentum toward action on immigration reform is gathering, with key Republicans in the House and Senate co-sponsoring bills — Obama’s approval among Hispanics may go even higher.
With Hispanics a fast-growing population group in the United States, both Obama and presidents who follow him will benefit politically to the extent they can win over Hispanics’ support.
The other part of this is that if Republicans sink significant immigration reform they will be embedding an image among the majority of Hispanic voters that will be hard for the GOP to discard as this growing demographic continues to blossom politically.