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Obama's support among blacks slips unexpectedly, Hispanics too

Obama campaigns among crowd of admirers in Philadelphia 4-6-11

Barack Obama rode to a comfortable presidential election win in 2008 on the electoral wings of a coalition based on liberal whites, independents and blacks, especially blacks.

Obama lost much of his independent support during the endless debate on his overreaching healthcare plan, when his laser focus on that legislation attracted blame for the stubbornly high unemployment numbers and rate.

Some liberals expressed impatience with Obama over his delay in repealing "don't ask, don't tell," reneging on his Guantanamo closure promise, doubling down on American military involvement in Afghanistan and, most recently, getting involved in combat over Libya. But where else can those liberals look?

However, this morning comes the most troubling political news for Obama's four-day-old reelection campaign:

His job approval among blacks is sliding.

Once monolithic, blacks' support for the first African American president is still....

....immense. But for unclear reasons it's declined about 7% from well above 90% to 85% in March. That's a new low since Obama's inauguration 26 months ago.

Equally ominous for Obama in 2012, his approval among Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing demographic, has also fallen to again tie his term low of 54%. That's a drop of 11 points from its early high of 65%.

Gallup seems puzzled by the unexpected decline, mentioning March's major news as possible reasons: the ongoing fight with Congress over no fiscal 2011 federal budget and Obama leading the country into a new military combat zone over Libya.Obama in Philadelphia 4-6-11

As we reported here Wednesday, other polls found approval of Obama's national security performance declined after he explained his rationale for Libya. While the unemployment rate has slipped slightly, millions remain out of work. Real estate has not rebounded. And consumer confidence is weak.

No one expects Obama's overall support among blacks to crater, though there is concern in his camp about rekindling the pioneering excitement and turnout of the 2008 election.

His billion-dollar campaign is already recruiting an army of community organizers for training this summer to carry his "movement forward for years to come."

But any decline within the Democrat's strongest base group is ominously important because his overwhelming support in that sector of voters helps cover his crumbling support in other groups, such as Hispanics and whites, where he now has only 39% approval.

Predictably, Obama's biggest group of supporters are Democrats (80%) and liberals (74%) and the least likely are Republicans, an impressively minute 14%.

Gallup finds Obama least popular among older Americans, married people, the less educated, the more affluent and the most religiously conscientious. Women (50%) prefer him slightly more than men do (44%).

The Midwest and West (both 47%) prefer Obama less than the East (54%). But Southerners like Obama least (42%).

Related:

Yemen president gets stern warning from Obama press secretary

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Larry Downing / Reuters (Obama greets Philadelphia supporters, April 6); Michael Reynolds / EPA.

 
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General population growth, longer life expectancy and aging baby boomers help explain the continued expansion of health care employment there is always shortage of employees in the health industry learn how to get degree in few months from "High Speed University" article

Thank the lord... better late then ever people.

His catering too much to homosexuals did it for me. Myself being an African American, I will not vote for him this term.

This should surprise no one. You don't need to be a conservative, libertarian, white or a genius to recognize an incompetant buffoon when you see one.

Another useless poll, so what.

This year, in Obama's administration, we will add as much debt to the national balance sheet as the previous 43 presidents COMBINED.

That should be enough reason for a rational person, of any color, to withdraw support.

those who want others to pay for their existance like obama

African-American support has fallen 7 points, and will decline further, because a black Herbert Hoover, friend only to bankers, big business and especially defense industrialists, is no different than a white Herbert Hoover, he's just a different shade of Hebert Hoover. Which should explain his adherence to Republicanism abroad and domestically, tho sheep unfortunately are able only to discriminate by party label and, thanks to white liberal guilt, shade of melanin.

Obama is being seen more for who he is by African-Americans who get that, as a descendant of a recent arrival from Kenya, Obama never went thru the black experience in America of enslavement and Jim Crow. He sees himself as different from regular blacks, and distances himself from their experience in America today, suffering under his Republicanesque policies. He fits perfectly the profile of one who came up thru the ranks of a white grandfather and mother who for decades worked for the CIA in Indonesia and around the world, in the mid '60s listing young Barry as Muslim born in Indonesia. Obama's scrubbed biography and actions as president fit perfectly the profile of lifer in the CIA, which agency instructs his every move that impacts them and their goals to brutalize thru warmongering, de-constitutional-ize and diminish into 3rd world basket case status the country he sees as no more than his assigned headquarters.

Sorry, sheep.

The article seems to imply that somehow all black people walk in lockstep with each other. That's not true and never has been. Also I resent this idea that somehow a failure of this specific president is a collective failure of one race. No one ever said stuff like Bush's support amongs Whites has slipped, so why keep harping on race where Obama is concerned?

Obama needs four more years to clean up Bush big mess.

Mr. Obama's mother was white, he was raised by whites, Polynesians and Indonesians and didn't encounter blacks until college. Maybe African Americans are finally figuring out he's not one of them.

Reverse bandwagon effect: No one wants to be associated with a loser. The minorities abandoning Obama either a) have a job they don't want to lose, or b) have a business they don't want the government to take over. The freeloaders will never abandon their Messiah.

No one in America is better off because this man was elected, well maybe only liberal Congressman and Senators, but the rest of us are suffering from overreaching federal regulations, and taxes, taxes, taxes!!! We cannot stand another term by this guy. Not to mention that he has moved us so far toward socialism and stifled our freedoms at every term. He has run this country like a dictator and totally disregarded the rule of law and trivialized the Constitution. NO MO OBAMA!!!!

Gee, Andrew, it's just all good news, isn't it?

He's losing his base, and the rest of us are losing any sympathy with his base.
You know, the folks that were going to get their mortgages and car loans paid
by Obumma money, and people who believe their abortion should be payed for by the rest of us. After Obumma, you can expect the voters to hold a tighter
rein on government, never letting it get this powerful again. If that proves to
be impossible, expect a revolution.

Why is this so unexpected? Obama is a popular man and also a good man. I think this is normal.

He didn't lose points for laser focus.
He lost points on health care for promising to fight for a public option and caving and the first opportunity.
He lost points with union members for promising to walk with them and then walking away.
People forget that we elected TOTAL INEXPERIENCE to deal with the debacle created by the most totally inept president ever.

On issues Obama has utterly neglected the interests of black people. Unemployment has hit young black males particularly hard. Yet Obama favors letting illegal immigrants take the jobs they could ordinarily get. The public education system in most cases is failing these same people. Obama has come down heavily in favor of teachers unions at the expense of these same young people. He is an enemy to giving poor black parents educational choices for their children.
How long will black people stand for this?
He is loved as a symbol. But his actions as president take this love for granted and ignore the interests of most blacks. When they realize this he will face electoral doom.

And this is surprising why? Other than health care, the man has shown no inclination to push for the "hope and change" that he campaigned on. Did GWB cave on the policies that he wanted to push through? Absolutely not. When voices rose up in opposition to many of the policies he wanted to implement, he simply told them to sit down and be quiet, because he was the president, he had a mandate from the people, and he was going to do what he wanted.

BHO on the other hand, always wants to find compromise, wants to try to win the support of those that wish nothing more than to see him fail. I'm sure that many in the black community look at that and say to themselves, "Fool. Those people don't like you, don't want to support you, so you need to stop kissing their a**." I sense that is the frustration within the black community that exists with Obama.

Blacks are going to feel President Obama's war on oil disproportionately greater because a greater percentage of them are living closer to the food and energy squeeze that Obama is forcing on the American public to fund his green energy buddies at GE and Government Motors. Can you believe the man answered a question about how someone with an older car can afford to buy gas by telling him he needed to get rid of his old car and buy a new one? As someone noted, that is akin to Marie Antoinette telling the peasants to eat cake if they can't afford bread. Food prices are going through the roof this year because the cost of transportation and production have been driven up to give special deals to Obama's inefficient windmills and unwanted fast rail, and because Obama is preventing distribution of US oil drilling permits. Anyone with eyes in their heads will know who to blame for blue collar hurt this year and until Obama's policies get reversed. Minorities are not blind.

Expensive gas, no-benefits jobs if you can find one, new high health co-pays, food inflation, friends and relatives on dangerous useless overseas missions.
What's not to like?

Blacks and hispanics have to buy gas and food too. The higher both go, the lower his support from all groups will go.

Hispanics and blacks, like most people, prefer freedom to speak their consciences, freedom to keep most of what they earn, and availability of honest jobs.

The current Administration seems to favor, however, control of media; wealth redistribution through taxation, and hindering job increases through government regulation.

Perhaps many ethnic groups are beginning to find that the goals of this Administration do not advance the goals of their families.

Blacks and Hispanics are deeply religious people and a coalition of black churches has gone against Obama because of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He simply does not tell the truth, and they now doubt his Christian faith. Everything in his 2008 campaign has been exposed as a lie, and he is not a likable man. He really has no chance of winning, and his financial supporters are just putting lipstick on a corpse. He's done.

OBAMA has accomplished one thing- Spreading the Wealth. TO OTHER COUNTRIES.

I pray that all blacks, hispanics and others wake up and realize that, Obama has not, will not, and can not, do what it takes to heal this bad economy, cut spending, create jobs, payoff the national debt, and keep America safe from illegal aliens, terrorist and mad dictators. The rich and big cooperations help provide jobs for the middle class, Obama seems to miss that. He is bankrupting the country, and there are wars all over the middle east. Obama looks aloof with little concern about these problems.

I think African-American voters have certainly given Obama a fair shot. I don't think he can claim they haven't given him a chance. If they are seeping away, it's because some of them are less impressed.

Don't end up looking like yesterdays news, it is never too late to rip that Obama/Biden sticker off your Prius folks! Just make sure to replace it with one that supports a leader of your choice, not a floundering facebook sensation, key word being leader...

Um yea...I'm one of those disappointed black people. The Obama who ran for president, compared to the Obama as president, it's a serious case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He made too many false promises to the people and upheld his relationship with the bankers. Anytime you write too many checks yo ass can't cash as the leader of the nation, you shouldn't expect a second term. Even if your going to spend 1BILLION DOLLARS on your next campaign. I kno, I couldn't believe it when I heard it either.

the great recession has hit males, particularly younger and less educated males the hardest. higher rates of un and underemployment combined with stagnant incomes and most worryingly, little confidence that it's going to change anytime soon. at some point, you are your record. barry's isn't a very good one.

i completely understood the initial reaction/symbolism of his campaign in 2008. an honest person would admit that it was that fact as much as anything else (certainly not a record of accomplishment or experience in government) that got him past hillary clinton and then to the white house, although john mccain didn't make for very tough opposition. considering bush fatigue, the onset of the great recession, ongoing wars, etc. i was surprised obama only got 52.5% of the vote. contrary to what his cheerleaders in the media (you too latimes) described it as a mandate it wasn't. a 55-45 win or higher is a mandate. go look at reagan's numbers in 1984 to relearn what a mandate is if you forgot. obama underperformed at every venture of the campaign after iowa. none of this matters except that it explains his initial victory and that it was not the "game-changer" those of you on the left (you too latimes) wanted it to be. how else to explain 2010? it was history making yes, but history is only made one time. it cannot be again. 2012 will not be 2008.

i think native angelino has hit on something. barack obama isn't black. he is half black and half white. he was raised largely by his white maternal grandparents from kansas. he almost always acts the part of the college professor, from above the fray and detached from the little things that occupy most of the beltway. he is not black in the cultural and social sense that most blacks of his age are who experienced life either in the urban inner-city, or the rural south. hawaii is not the hood. nor is it selma. barack obama's election will forever be historic for the fact that he was the first non-white and the first black man to be elected president. he will not be the last. may the next one, be held to the same standard that all other candidates are, minus the affirmative action, may he or she run on their record and not on being a bargainer. may they display modesty and humility instead of audacity and elitism. may they have private sector experience and not just an academic background. may they be competent and not charismatic. if so, they stand a much better chance to not just be a black or hispanic president, but more importantly a good one.

i went out to the mailbox today and and i looked for a check to pay my mortgage and my gasoline bill but it wasn't there,maybe obama will send it out tomorrow.

Blood may be thicker than water, but sometimes reality is thicker than pablum.

If everyone can wake up to the complete and utter disaster that is Barack Obama, maybe there's hope for this country yet.

Thank the Lord! May more people of color awaken in Jesus name. I'm a Latino , but Christian first. To put ones color before Gods truth is idolatry. There's no way a genuine Christian, can support a man who mocks Jesus as Obama does.

Hello...America....are you watching this character in action....he is destroying this country from the bottom up...How any Black or Hispanic could even consider this guy a friend to them is beyond me. He is only satisfying his socialists beliefs...Look out Blacks and Hispanics...he is not your friend.

well george w bush dug the hole and obama is digging deeper. obama is george bush senior's second term.

Mysterious? Haha ~ you're kidding, RIGHT? You people (left wing Obama butt kissing "journalists") who find it shocking that people aren't as stupid as they seemed to be, purely because they believed a Pathological Lying incompetent fraud, are delusional and living in the land of denial. It would be shockingly mysterious if these numbers DIDN'T go DOWN.... and they're still on that slope, down with the Dope.

This is clearly no mystery....

Buyer's remorse from the latinos and blacks? Color me surprised that heaven haven't opened up and started raining magic pixie dust like he promised during his campaign. Maybe he will do better when he gets the job he really wants - to head the UN after he is kicked out of office by the electorate in 2012.

Obama approved an attack on a Arican country .Why do blacks vote for a person just because they are black ?

If Obama had chose to fight for the black community just as he aggressively fought for the LGBT community and his push to not enforce the immigration laws and to interfere with those states that are trying to enforce them, then the support would be there. He can listen to GALLUP all he want and think the decline in black support is puzzling. Everyone knows that majority of the black community is conservative when it comes to issues of the gay community. We also expect equal treatment when it comes to punishment for breaking laws (illegal immigrants). He refuse to do anything about the high unemployment rate amongst the black community stating he will not aim job creation at certain races. However, everything he has done has been for special interest groups. Why not do something especially for the Black community?

"Which should explain his adherence to Republicanism abroad and domestically, tho sheep unfortunately are able only to discriminate by party label and, thanks to white liberal guilt, shade of melanin."

It's not exactly Republicanism. Obama is the second coming of Woodrow Wilson.

At least Bush's wars have some kind of semblance of national interest involved, Libya is purely a "humanitarian" war "for democracy" of the type Wilson would have supported. and it isn't "Republicanism at home" - it's corporatism/crony capitalism. A very "progressive" (in the early 20th century sense of the word) concept.

The President needs to connect the dots on a regular basis for the American People. Facts of the matter should be in-your-face and very plain. This should be someone's full time job. The President needs his own network. Many working people--who President Obama works day and night to protect from the robber barons--don't even watch the news in any form. When they do happen to hear of the President's comings and goings, it has so much negative spin on it that it sways their opinion of him. A whole bunch of people will not go to the whitehouse.gov web site to listen for themselves. Go figure.
BTW: if the old-timey term "robber barons" offend you in any way, then you are one of them and the rock hit you smack on the head. Be smart and don't let anyone else hear you holler.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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