David W. Moore, Gallup News Service, Jul. 6, 2004
A new Gallup survey, which includes large oversamples of blacks and Hispanics, finds President George W. Bush losing the support of Hispanic voters.
In the 2000 election, former Vice President Al Gore easily won the Hispanic vote, 62% to 35%, according to the networks’ exit poll. But early in his presidency, Bush seemed to overcome the Democratic tendency of most Hispanics, receiving job approval ratings from that group at the same level as from non-Hispanic whites.
In the past year, Bush’s job approval rating among Hispanics dropped significantly, while approval from whites declined only modestly. Now, more Hispanics disapprove than approve of Bush’s performance, and a majority indicate they will vote for Sen. John Kerry and for the Democratic representative in their districts in this fall’s elections. Blacks overwhelmingly support the Kerry candidacy, disapprove of Bush, and expect to vote Democratic in their congressional districts. Blacks typically show strong support for Democratic candidates.
The poll was conducted June 9-30, and the sample includes approximately 800 non-Hispanic whites, 800 blacks, and 500 Hispanics. Both the two-way hypothetical contest between Bush and Kerry, and the three-way contest that includes independent Ralph Nader, show a virtual tie overall, with Bush having a one-point lead in each case among registered voters. In the two-way contest, Bush enjoys a 12-point lead over Kerry among whites, 53% to 41%. But among blacks, Kerry wins overwhelmingly (81% to 12%), and among Hispanics he enjoys a 19-point lead (57% to 38%).
With Nader in the race, the overall figures still show Bush with a one-point advantage. Margins among the racial/ethnic groups vary only a little from the two-way contest.
Third-party candidate Nader polls as well among blacks as does Bush.
The decline in Hispanic support for the president can be seen in the trend on Bush approval. In June 2001, Hispanics and whites expressed the same level of approval for Bush’s performance. In the next two years as well, there was little difference between the two groups in their support for Bush. But the most recent survey finds a 27-point drop in Hispanic approval compared with June 2003, from 67% to 40%, at the same time that approval among whites declined only 8 points (69% to 61%).
Black support for Bush also dropped in the past year, from 32% approval to just 16% today.
The generic ballot, which asks voters which party’s candidate they expect to vote for in their congressional districts, shows a moderately close contest among whites, with Republicans leading Democrats by six points (48% to 42%). However, a large majority of Hispanics say they will vote Democratic (by 60% to 35%), and overwhelmingly, blacks will vote for the Democratic candidates in their districts (83% to 14%).