Hispanic Voters Support Obama, Deplore Deportations

Despite their widespread disapproval of his administration’s deportation policies and pessimism about the direction of the country in general, many Latinos still support President Barack Obama and are likely to vote for his reelection in 2012, according to a recently released Pew Hispanic Center survey.

For the survey, Pew polled 1,220 Latino adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among this group, 59 percent said they disapprove of Obama’s handling of deportations. Fewer respondents – 41 percent – were aware that the Obama White House has been deporting illegal immigrants at a faster pace than the Bush administration did. Of the respondents who said they were aware of this fact, 77 percent disapproved of the current administration’s deportation policies.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they approve of Obama’s job performance, which is higher than his current approval rating of 46 percent among the general population, but lower than the 58 percent approval rating he enjoyed among Latinos in 2010.

While 56 percent of the respondents said they are dissatisfied with the general direction of the country, many are still likely to vote for Obama over his Republican challenger in the 2012 race. Sixty-eight percent of surveyed registered voters said they would vote for Obama over Mitt Romney, and 69 percent said they would cast their ballot for Obama rather than Rick Perry. Only 12 percent of respondents said that the Republican Party has more concern for Hispanics than the Democratic Party.

The respondents were overwhelmingly in support of broad immigration reform, with 91 percent saying they support the DREAM Act, which offers a path for the naturalization of undocumented residents brought to the United States as children.

A recent Latino Decisions poll found little enthusiasm for the 2012 presidential contest among potential Latino voters, with fewer than half of respondents – 44 percent – saying they are very excited about participating in the election.