Los Votantes Latinos Al Rescate!
Over at PPP, Tom Jensen’s latest polling finds that Rick Perry is pretty popular among Republicans…and is immediately driving the Latino vote straight to President Barack Obama.
In our first national poll pitting the two Obama leads Perry 49-43. That six point advantage is pretty comparable to Obama’s margin of victory over John McCain. Perry has certainly come on strong with Republicans but independents view him negatively already by an almost 2:1 margin, 29/55, and Democrats pretty universally give him bad ratings at a 10/71 spread. As a result Obama leads Perry thanks in large part to a 24 point advantage with independents at 56-32.
Jensen does pitch a cautionary note however: Even PPP finds that Barack Obama ties Mitt Romney at 45%. But Perry also edges out Romney and Bachmann in Iowa in PPP’s latest numbers there, 22% to 19% to 18% respectively.
Here’s the interesting part:
One big reason Obama’s doing pretty well in these match ups is the Hispanic vote. Exit polls in 2008 showed him winning it by a 36 point margin over McCain but he builds on that in all of these match ups with a 37 point advantage over Romney at 66-29, a 46 point one over Perry at 72-26, a 48 point edge over Bachmann at 74-26, a 49 point lead on Palin at 74-25, and a 53 point spread on Herman Cain at 75-22. This is a good example of what Republican strategist Mike Murphy has described as the economics vs. demographics tension for next year’s election. The economy could sink Obama but at the same time an ever growing expanding Hispanic vote that he wins by a huge margin could be enough to let him eek out a second term. It’s certainly propping him up on this poll.
Perhaps President Obama’s recent decision to overhaul his administration’s misguided and overzealous enforcement of the nation’s deportation policy last week, halting some 300,000 deportations for further review, is already having an effect. Republicans have continued to attack the President as weak on immigration policy despite already deporting more than 800,000 individuals in just two years, far outpacing any previous administration.
Republicans were going to attack President Obama on immigration anyway and will continue to demonize Latinos across the country (you have to look no further than Alabama’s “toughest in the nation” immigration law, passed by Republican lawmakers and heading for federal court this week). It seems the President has wisely decided that since as I said Republicans are going to ignore his deportation enforcement that outpaced Dubya and will accuse him of “amnesty” for treating Latinos as human beings anyway, he might as well get credit for doing the right thing with his base.
It’s a smart move all around. Well played, Mr. President.