“Hispanic voters’ support for Democratic candidates waned in August and September.” That’s the assessment of Gallup, based on their latest polling report on voting preferences among key demographic blocks.
Hispanics in September favored Democrats by a 13-point margin (51% to 38%), compared with 32-point margins in June and July.
What was Gallup’s “Bottom Line” assessment of this data?
While they voted strongly for Obama in 2008 and were supposed to be one of the building blocks of Democratic victory in 2010, Gallup’s recent polling suggests their support for Democratic congressional candidates is slipping. This is in line with Hispanics’ dwindling approval of Obama as president, with the initial decline seen in May possibly linked to the Democrats’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Ed Morrissey, dean (IMO) of the bloggers at the conservative site “Hot Air”, comments on Gallup’s poll in a blog titled “Hispanic Voters Drifting Back To The GOP
Much as the GOP foot soldier in me likes the sound of that, I’m wondering if Ed’s assumption is based on facts that are NOT in evidence.
If Hispanics are indeed drifting away from the Democrats, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re drifting toward the GOP. They may drift to third party candidates, or choose not to enter the currents at all this election season, and not vote.
Morrissey points out another reason for why Hispanics might be shying away from the Democratic party: the economy:
Hispanic voters, like everyone else, have to make a living and pay their bills. While immigration reform might be more important to them as a bloc than it is to other voting blocs, it seems not to have crossed Gallup’s mind that immigration reform doesn’t impact them directly — since, as voters, they’re already here, most of them by birth. As the economy soured over the summer, the benefit of the doubt given by these voters dissipated at the same time.
Morrissey concludes his post by saying that “the only explanation of the move towards the GOP is the economy and the Recovery Summer bust.” I’d have to respectfully disagree with him here, on the move being attributable to “only” the economy. Any group counting on immigration reform has reason to be displeased with, or at least disappointed in, the Obama administration, this far into his first term. Displeased or disappointed voters are more likely to drift away.
Neverthless, if Hispanic voters are indeed drifting away from the Democrats, that means there are more votes out there for other candidates to pick up.
It promises to be an interesting October.