The old adage that “in politics perception is reality” may be playing out on multiple fronts for the Obama administration as it battles not only the view that it has been ineffective in dealing with the BP oil spill but also that it is squandering its chance to move boldly on immigration reform.
According to polls released by Gallup today, Latinos have become less enthusiastic about the president’s overall performance as a result of what they see as his inaction on immigration.
Gallup reports that among Hispanics who were interviewed in Spanish, an 11-point drop in the past month followed a steep 21-point drop since January. Among Hispanics interviewed in English, Gallup reported only a 5 point drop. Sixty percent of those interviewed in English give the president a favorable job review, while only 52 percent of those interviewed in Spanish think likewise.
The survey was conducted as a random sample of adults 18 or over between Jan. 2 and May 31, 2010. Gallup surveyed approximately 1000 Hispanics a month during that period, for a sample error of plus or minus 4 percent.
In a separate survey released today, 46 percent of Americans versus 40 percent say they disapprove of Obama’s handling of the oil spill.
Obama’s overall approval rating so far does not appear to be affected by the spill, according to Gallup. He registered a 47 percent approval rating which, although tied with former lows, is on par with ratings notched before the spill.