A striking graph from WaPo. For most of the country, his job approval has been flat in the low to mid-40s for nearly a year. His approval among Latinos was mostly flat too from February to the beginning of September, albeit a bit higher in the mid-50s. Then he announced on September 6th that executive action on immigration would be postponed; two and a half months after that, he finally came through with the power grab that amnesty fans have been dreaming of.
Follow the bouncing ball:
After the postponement, Latino support dropped below the 50 percent mark, almost to parity with the wider population. But as the White House started insisting that they’d act after the election, it began to creep up — and then, after he declared himself the lawgiver-in-chief on immigration in late November, it took off. At 68 percent, his job approval among Latinos is now the highest it’s been since early 2013, when he was still enjoying a post-reelection honeymoon with the electorate. Now, look at that red line and ask yourself how Democratic leaders are likely to react circa summer 2016 if Hillary’s stuck in a tight race with her GOP opponent and desperate for something to goose Democratic base voters. I wonder if one reason why Obama didn’t go even bigger with his own amnesty, reaching the eight-to-ten million threshold on legalization that some amnesty fans begged for, is because he wanted to leave some policy meat on the bone either for President Hillary or for himself. The thing about amnesty is, there’s always another amnesty right around the corner to “complete” the previous one. Especially when the political incentives are as sweet as they appear to be.
How sweet are they really, though? Conn Carroll notes that big gains among Latinos may comes at the expense of losses among a more populous group:
He’s been basically flat at -4 among college-educated whites since 2010, but among less educated whites — the sort of people who’ll feel a fresh new supply of low-skilled labor most acutely — he’s at -8. How low can that number go post-amnesty before Democrats are hemorrhaging so badly that another amnesty loses them more voters than it gains? Remember, for all of his supposed connection with white working-class voters, especially in the south, Bill Clinton campaigned for Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mark Pryor in Kentucky and Arkansas, respectively, this past fall — and saw both of them crushed by much wider margins than expected. Would Obama dare drop another amnesty bomb a few months before the 2016 election when the fallout on the white vote could be unpredictable?
Exit question via Grover Norquist: The natural Republican counter to Obama’s insistence on immigration reform is to, er, pass some immigration reform, right?