Obama still popular among Latino voters: survey

09:01, April 12, 2011      

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President Barack Obama's approval rate is still high among Latino voters more than two years after he took office, according to a survey published on Monday.

Among Latino voters surveyed, 73 percent said they either strongly approved or somewhat approved of the job Obama was doing, said the poll jointly conducted by impreMedia and Latino Decisions, two non-profit consultancy groups.

Regarding the 2012 election, 41 percent said they were certain to vote for Obama, 14 percent said they would vote for Obama but could change their mind, 10 percent were undecided but leaning towards Obama, and 14 percent listed themselves as undecided/don't know.

When asked if they approved of the job Congress was doing, 12 percent said they strongly approved, 27 percent said somewhat approved and 45 percent said either somewhat disapproved or strongly disapproved.

When asked what are the most important issues facing the Latino community that Congress and the president should address, 36 percent of survey respondents listed immigration reform/the Dream Act and 33 percent said creating jobs and fixing the economy.

Compared with Democrats, the Republicans are disfavored by most Latino voters, according to the poll.

The poll found that 62 percent felt that Republicans were hostile to Latinos and didn't care too much about reaching out to them.

The poorest image of Republicans came from those born in the United States, with just 17 percent of those respondents saying they think Republicans are doing a good job.

While Obama and the Democratic Party are still favored over the Republicans, the results suggested Latino voters are concerned about the current political leadership, resulting in a significant number of voters saying they are undecided about the 2012 presidential election, according to Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia.

When asked how well they felt the Republican and Democratic parties were reaching out to Hispanics, 47 percent said the Democratic Party was doing a "good job" versus 21 percent for the Republican Party.

While 27 percent said Democrats "don't care too much" about Latinos and 11 percent said they were "being hostile".

The results indicated a slight drop for Democrats, compared to a poll with the same question in February, when 52 percent indicated they felt the Democratic Party was doing a good job.

"Both parties should be worried," said Lozano. "Data from the 2010 Census reaffirms that Hispanics are a larger and more important voting bloc than ever, and neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to lose that vote or be perceived as failing to connect to the Latino community."

"Neither party has really done enough to build a connection to Latinos," Lozano said. "Although Democrats are still favored, it is not going in the right direction, and while Republicans have improved their approval ratings with Latinos slightly, it is still not enough to show they have the support needed to win in a presidential election."

The survey involved 500 registered voters between March 24 and April 2 in 21 states with the largest Hispanic populations, comprising 94 percent of the Hispanic electorate.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.38 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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