Bush Loses Support Among Hispanics

David

W. Moore, Gallup News Service, Jul. 6

PRINCETON, NJ—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%).

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