When I say “lowest level since last year” in the headline, I don’t mean to imply that O’s numbers with Latinos were lower in 2013. All I mean is that today’s Gallup chart goes back only as far as last November. (A period that includes the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, do note.) That 44 percent may well be the lowest number of his entire presidency among Latinos. I’d say odds are good, at least, that it’s the lowest since the big debt-ceiling standoff in 2011, when Obama saw some of his worst polling across the board. And it’s not just Latinos who are sour on him right now. Click and scroll left and you’ll find that he hasn’t been below 60 percent among nonwhite voters once since last November. Until now.
What could explain his cratering support among Latinos? Hmmmmm.
This year, Obama promised us action on immigration at the end of spring. Then he promised movement after the summer recess, when federal lawmakers returned to Washington. Now, he promises to take up the issue after the November elections.
Lie to me once, shame on you. Lie to me five times, what do you expect us to do? Obama and the Democrats who supported and encouraged him have little credibility among Latino voters. Obama may have done more to suppress the Latino vote through broken promises than any hostile action taken by the Republicans…
As for our own plan of action? It’s hard for me to imagine many of us voting for Republicans, who have at times been downright hostile to immigrant communities. But maybe Latinos in places like Colorado, Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina — states with closely contested Senate or governor’s races — should sit this election out. Maybe only by paying a price at the polls will Democrats finally stop throwing us under the bus.
It’s an open and shut case. Latino support had been steady for Obama in the mid-50s to low-60s for most of the past year, then he screwed them on executive amnesty, and now they’re turning on him. QED, right? Nope, and there’s where the big caveat comes in: As Phil Klein pointed out on Twitter, the newest job approval data among Latinos was collected between September 1 and September 7. Obama didn’t announce he was postponing executive amnesty until September 6. What are we to make of that? It could be, I suppose, that Obama’s support among Latinos fell so steeply on September 6 and 7 — down to the 30s, perhaps — that even that small sample was capable of dragging the entire week’s numbers down. In that case, O’s in deep, deep trouble; his numbers among Latinos in the coming week will presumably be gruesome. It could also be that O’s Latino support didn’t fall steeply on September 6 and 7, maybe because the news that he was delaying amnesty hadn’t penetrated widely yet. That’s also big trouble for O, as it means that Latinos are turning on him for reasons unrelated to immigration. What’s going to happen to his numbers this week when the full effect of the delay is added to that?
My hunch, though, is that the new numbers incorporate more upset over the amnesty delay than would seem obvious based on the date. True, O didn’t announce the delay until the 6th, after most of the poll had been conducted, but it was already anticipated at that point that he’d postpone executive action until the fall. The LA Times ran a story about the strong possibility of a delay on August 29. Word was surely circulating among immigration activist groups before then that Obama might pull the plug, and that news just as surely ended up circulating more broadly in Latino communities. The question is, if his numbers among Latinos continue to fall because of this, will he rethink and issue an executive order before the midterms anyway? The only race where Latino turnout might decide the outcome is Colorado, but every seat counts.