Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 9, 2013
POLITICS: Hispanic Voters Lose Faith In Barack Obama

We all know how far President Obama's approval rating has fallen, 13 months after his re-election. Gallup had a fascinating look at who exactly has lost faith in Obama, among poll respondents who approved of him a year ago. And prominent among the groups with the biggest drop is the supposed bedrock of the Permanent Democrat Majority™ - self-identified Hispanic voters.

As always, bear in mind that Gallup is only one pollster, and not the most reliable one at that, and that sub-samples tend to be smaller sample sizes than an entire poll. That said, a comparison between two polls by the same pollster at different points in time is an apples-to-apples comparison, and so of some use in tracking trends. I'd supplement this with similar data from other pollsters, but surprisingly few of the daily, weekly or monthly presidential-approval tracking polls provide this kind of breakdown on a regular basis (although a mid-November Quinnipiac poll showed Obama's approval underwater with Hispanics, 41-47, compared to 67-18 approval a year ago). That's precisely why Gallup's results are so interesting.

Here's Gallup's chart, which measures the net drop in points among different groups in their approval of Obama between his post-spring-2009 high water-mark in December 2012 and November 2013:


Bearing in mind that some of these are overlapping groups, you can see not only that Hispanics register a 23-point drop in approval, the largest of any group, but others near the top are also essential elements of any winning Democratic coalition: the youngest voters (18-29 year olds), the poorest (incomes under $24,000), the least educated (high school or less), various stripes of moderates and independents, women, the unmarried, the irreligious and voters in the Northeast and Midwest. Obama has lost the least support among those where he had the least support to start with: conservative Republicans, conservatives, Republicans. He's dropped at least 8 points among everyone else.

But a second way to look at these numbers is in percentage terms, to adjust for the fact that it's easier to lose more support among groups where you had more to start with. So, here are those figures:

VOTER SEGMENT12-Dec13-Nov% Decline
Independents w/no party leaning4128-32%
Liberal/Moderate Republicans2618-31%
Conservative Republicans75-29%
Less than $24,000 income6446-28%
High sch education or less5439-28%
Midwestern residents5238-27%
Non-Hispanic whites4231-26%
Eastern residents5944-25%
18- to 29-year-olds6146-25%
Attend Church weekly4534-24%
Not married6247-24%
50- to 64-year-olds5240-23%
Seldom/Never attend church5845-22%
30- to 49-year olds5442-22%
Attend church monthly5442-22%
$24,000 to <$60,000 annual income5140-22%
Southern residents4838-21%
$90,000 or more annual income5040-20%
Western residents5645-20%
65-year-olds and older4436-18%
Some college education5041-18%
College graduate only5041-18%
Moderate Democrats8973-18%
Conservative Democrats7965-18%
$60,000 to <$90,000 annual income4941-16%
Liberal Democrats9382-12%

Here, we see unaffiliated independents - perhaps unsurprisingly - at the top of the list, along with liberal Republicans, but Hispanics in a very close third place, with the poor, the uneducated and Midwesterners also high on the list (the latter is a danger sign for Democrats in Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota next fall). By contrast, on a percentage basis, the three least-shaken elements of Obama's base are - unsurprisingly - black voters, among whom he's lost just 10% of his prior support, and liberal Democrats and Democrats as a whole, the only other two groups to show less than a 16% decline - and the dropoff among those two groups would doubtless be higher if you excluded his unshakeable support among black voters.

And bear in mind, these are losses among people who approved of the job Obama was doing after watching him in office for four years. These aren't voters who reject liberals or Democrats out of hand, or - if you buy into the excuse for every criticism of Obama - voters who don't like him because he's black. Most of them likely voted for the man, twice. And the most likely reason they are turning on him is simply because he's not getting the job done - his policies aren't working, the economy continues to disappoint, and he still isn't delivering the things he promises. As the LIBRE Initiative's Executive Director, Daniel Garza, put it, after noting that the November Quinnipiac poll had showed just 44% approval among Hispanics for Obamacare:

The dramatic drop in support from the U.S. Hispanic community should not come as a surprise to anyone. Instead of effectively addressing Immigration, the slow economy, the lack of access to affordable care, and other critical issues over these past five years, President Obama has delivered mostly empty rhetoric and a record of stagnant Unemployment , diminished household incomes and a tepid GDP growth rate. Americans deserve better.

It is not too late for a real agenda focused on private sector job growth, market-based health reform that empowers doctors and patients, and true bipartisan cooperation on Immigration reform. For too long now Hispanics have been called on by this Administration for political points, and our community is tired of the broken promises and bad policies that have left many of us worse off.

The immediate lesson here is that, for all the Democrats' bluster, Hispanics are simply not African-Americans. They may have identified to some degree with him against his critics as the first non-white President, they may like some of the things the Democrats stand for, and they may even feel - not without reason - that Republicans want to kick them out of the country. But none of that alone is enough to make them permanent Democratic partisans if they don't see results.

Republicans face a variety of challenges in appealing to Hispanic voters, even moreso than some of the other voter groups that are increasingly disenchanted with Obama. They will not be cheap dates for the GOP. But Democrats are learning that they are growing increasingly tired of being told to just sit back and pull the lever for Obama's pursuit of MacGuffins. Republicans have an opportunity, if they will work for it.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:30 AM | Politics 2013 • | Poll Analysis | Comments (6)

LOL at quite possibly the most superficial poll analysis in the history of this website.

You must be busy at work. Fortunately, you have three years to get some posts in the queue bashing President Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Jimmy Mac at December 9, 2013 10:49 PM

Crank-You must be doing things right 'cause the liberal trolls always seem to respond to your posts! Keep poking them in the eye until they see the light!

Posted by: Lee at December 10, 2013 11:24 AM

You know, Crank, I would think by now, your repeated predictions of the President's political demise would give you pause before you launc again. But I often forget the hypnotic effects of the right wing echo chamber.

I can't wait for the inevitable cheerleading for the newest tea party flavor.

Posted by: magrooder at December 10, 2013 9:52 PM

If you choose to disbelieve the polling, Magrooder, that is your choice.

Posted by: Crank at December 10, 2013 9:55 PM

If you believe being a sucker doesn't work for everybody, Magrooder, that is your choice.
Crank, on the other hand, just KNOWS the Tea Party is nothing at all like the Republican Party. And Crank has the proof, he believes it.

Posted by: Berto at December 12, 2013 2:56 PM

Yes, let's go all in based on the polls:

January 23, 2006

POLITICS: Right Wing News 2008 GOP Blogger Poll

John Hawkins has posted the results of his poll of conservative bloggers' preferred 2008 candidates. The top three most wanted and most unwanted, by percentage of the vote:

The Top 3 Most Desired Candidates

3) George Allen (42.0)
2) Rudy Giuliani (58.0)
1) Condoleeza Rice (65.5)

The 3 Least Desired Candidates

3) Bill Frist (43.5)
2) Chuck Hagel (55.5)
1) John McCain (74.5)

Read the whole thing. The top 3 most-wanted are pretty much in the order I voted them, although I remain substantially subject to persuasion on their merits, especially Rudy and Allen. I also voted for Frist and Hagel among the least-wanted (along with Newt and Tancredo; I didn't even bother voting against Pataki), but I'm much more accepting of McCain as the nominee.

Posted by: magrooder at December 16, 2013 3:42 PM
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