Despite the best efforts of the White House, including meetings with Hispanic leaders and journalists, support for President Obama among Latinos keeps shrinking.
According to a new poll by Ipsos-Telemundo published Thursday, the rate of approval for Obama among U.S. Hispanics is of just 56 percent, much less than the 86 percent he enjoyed in April 2009, shortly after his inauguration. Disapproval of the president's performance is now 35 percent, compared to just 11 percent back then.
What should be a source of concern for the president's reelection campaign is that less than six months ago, his rate of approval among Hispanics was 62 percent (with 31 percent disapproving).
Moreover, according to the study, although the gap between the support for the president among Latinos and the rest of the electorate, which today stands at 56 percent vs. 47 percent, continues to favor him, it is also shrinking, from 23 points in April 2009, to 12 points in June 2011, to just nine points in December 2011, leading to the conclusion that "the disillusion among Hispanics is more pronounced than among the general public."
Latinos have been hit especially hard by the economic crisis. The rate of unemployment among Hispanics is higher than that of the general population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in November 2011, 11.4 percent of the Hispanic civilian labor force was unemployed, compared to just 8.6 percent among all Americans.
While the Obama administration broke a record for deportation of undocumented immigrants, reaching 396,906 during the 2011 fiscal year, most of them Hispanics, it apparently failed to convince this community of his commitment to a comprehensive immigration reform.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, "About four-in-five of the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants are of Hispanic origin."