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Hispanic Voter Disapproval May Cost Obama Florida

There’s already been plenty of coverage of this bombshell Magellan Strategies poll out of Florida today, showing Obama’s re-election numbers tanking in the state. But the survey’s most ominous finding is that Hispanic voters are abandoning the president in droves (sort of like the way Obama abandoned his campaign promise to tackle immigration reform during his first year in office).

In 2008, Obama won 57 percent of the state’s Hispanic vote, which has historically leaned Republican. Now, 72 percent of Florida Hispanic voters say Obama doesn’t deserve re-election, according to the Magellan poll. And the numbers don’t change when Obama is matched up with Republican candidates:

What is striking is how poorly Barack Obama is doing among Hispanic and Latino voters in Florida. The ballot test between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finds the president trailing Mitt Romney by 39 points, with 62 percent of Hispanic voters supporting Mitt Romney and only 23 percent supporting Barack Obama. The Perry‐Obama ballot test among Hispanic voters finds 56 percent supporting Rick Perry and 25 percent supporting the president. The Bachmann‐Obama ballot test among Hispanic voters finds Michele Bachmann with 51 percent support and 30 percent for Barack Obama.

The problem for Obama is his last victory in Florida was largely attributed to Hispanic voters. According to a 2008 study by liberal think tank NDN, Obama’s Hispanic support accounted for 7.9 percent of the Florida electorate, while he only won the state by 2 percent. This demographic will be even more crucial in the next election. By 2012, the growing Hispanic community in Florida is expected to be 34 percent larger than it was in 2008.

So, if Obama loses the Hispanic vote by a significant margin – which seems like a distinct possibility, based on this poll – he’ll need to make up those numbers from another demographic. The thing is, who can he go to? As the survey shows, his numbers are sliding with everyone – even 27 percent of Democrats say he doesn’t deserve reelection. Does anyone imagine he’ll be able to convince people who didn’t support him in 2008 to vote for him in 2012?


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