It looks like President Obama’s new immigration policy directive has helped give him a big lead among Hispanic voters, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released today.
Obama is leading Romney 66 percent to 26 percent, which is a six-point jump from a month ago, when the numbers were 61 percent to 27 percent. The increase happened after President Obama’s executive order, which halted the deportation of undocumented immigrants under 30 who were brought to the United States as children.
Almost nine out of ten (87 percent) Latinos express support for this directive, which is a substantially higher number than among the general population. In the general NBC News/WSJ poll, 68 percent of Americans were in favor and almost 3 out of 10 (29 percent) were opposed.
Obama’s overall job approval also increased among Latinos. Sixty five percent of Hispanics say they approve of Obama’s job, up 4 points since May. Here, Latino numbers are also higher than the general population, which only gives Obama a 47 percent approval rating.
On Obama’s handling of the economy, Latino approval went from 54 percent in May to 62 percent now. The 62 percent Hispanic approval number is also much higher than the general population; 42 percent of Americans approved of the President’s handling of the economy.
When it comes to likability, Obama as well as the Democrats fared much better among Hispanics than Romney and the Republican party. Sixty seven percent of Latinos had a positive impression of the President, a nine-point jump over last month. Eighteen percent viewed Obama negatively. Sixty-six percent of Latinos prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress.
By contrast, 21 percent of Hispanics view Mitt Romney in a positive manner, while 41 percent of Latinos view him negatively. Twenty seven percent of Latinos prefer a Republican-controlled Congress.
On the issues, Latinos are siding with the President and Democrats by pretty wide margins.
For example, immigration is considered either “extremely important” or “important” for 72 percent of Latinos. On this issue, half of Latinos – 50 percent – trust Democrats, and 16 percent trust Republicans.
When it comes to Obama’s health care legislation, almost half of Latinos – 48 percent – said it was a good idea, and only 20 percent said it was a bad idea. And on taxes, Latinos think Democrats do a better job than Republicans by 46 to 16 percent.
But voter preferences only matter if Latinos make it to the voting booth. Here, Latino enthusiasm is lower than in 2008 levels. Only two-thirds – 66 percent of Latinos declared themselves very interested in the November elections, compared to July of 2008, when 80 percent of Hispanics had expressed high interest. Only 76 percent of Latinos said they were “almost certain” to vote in November.