President Obama holds a wide lead among Hispanic voters when matched against potential Republican challengers, even as widespread opposition to his administration’s stepped-up deportation policies act as a drag on his approval ratings among these voters, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, revealed a dramatic
general election weakness for Republicans among an increasingly influential voting bloc – with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry each winning less than one-fourth of the Hispanic vote in hypothetical matchups against Obama.
Obama leads Romney 68-23 and Perry 69-23 among Hispanic voters, with
an error margin of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points for the voter sample.
The president’s strong position with Hispanic voters comes even as Hispanic adults overall express strong disapproval with the way his administration is handling deportations of illegal immigrants, by a 59-27 margin. (The margin of error among adults is 3.6 percentage points).
The U.S. has deported more than 1 million illegal immigrants under Obama, removing an average of nearly 400,000 per year — a record rate that has drawn criticism from immigrant advocates who charge the policy is tearing apart families and punishing harmless workers. Administration officials have said they are targeting criminals for deportation.
Obama’s job approval rating has dropped among Hispanic voters by 9 points since last year, the survey found, dipping to 54 percent – in part due to a 15-point drop among Hispanic Democrats. His job approval among voters overall stood at 49 percent in a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this month, meaning the president remains more popular among Hispanics than the broader electorate.
Source: Peter Wallsten, Washington Post