President Barack Obama’s standing with Hispanic Americans has rebounded in the wake of his decision to act unilaterally to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Telemundo survey.
The survey also shows Hillary Clinton would begin a presidential race with a strong advantage over her potential rivals in both parties among this fast-growing set of voters, should she decide to run.
Hispanic voters were among Mr. Obama’s strongest supporters in 2012, but they grew dissatisfied with his presidency in the two years since. Their drop-off in support mirrored falling approval among white voters, but also may have reflected particular frustration with the stalemate over immigration in Washington.
The new survey shows the president rebounding. Fifty-seven percent of Latinos said they approved of the job he is doing as president, up from 47% in September though still shy of the 62% mark in April 2013. Fifty-six percent said they approved of the job he was doing handling immigration, up from 45% in May 2010.
Additionally, 66% said the president was doing “very” or “somewhat” well addressing the concerns of the Hispanic and Latino community, compared to just 30% who said the same when asked about “Republican elected officials.”
That support may be helpful as the president and his administration work to sign up undocumented immigrants for his new deferred action program, which offers a shield from deportation for those who qualify. The program is under withering attack from Republicans and supporters believe it needs robust enrollment to assure it survives.