Saturday, December 13, 2014

Democrats say "Thanks Obama"

Having only been a month after president Obama's decision to defer deportation and offer work authorization to millions of immigrants, research polls of Pew Research and Gallup show Obama's approval rating among Hispanics in the immigration action, conducted between November 24 and  December 8, to be 81 and 64 percent, respectively.

The numbers are definitely impressive. But this has not been the first time Obama has played a card like this. Similarly, in the fall of 2011, just after the debt ceiling fiasco, Obama's approval rating had dropped to a point similar to where it is today. To respond, the Obama administration changed their strategy, deploying messages to appeal to every facet of the Democratic coalition, including deferred action for undocumented minors to appeal to Hispanic voters.

I find it interesting on how different politicians deploy different tactics to save themselves from getting caught between a rock and a hard place. Yet, just because Obama gained a majority of Hispanic voters now, do you think we are going to see a repeat of what happened in 2012 -- in a sense that this action by Obama will help save the democratic party during the 2016 election? In other words, what do you predict will happen? What do you think makes minority groups like Hispanics tend to favor democratic policies over republican policies?  New York Times


Cameron Jacobs said...

Even though the Democratic Party did suffer heavy losses during the midterm elections, I do not think that necessarily suggests that the 2016 presidential election is tilted in the Republicans favor. There are many factors to consider, are Americans dissatisfied with Democratic politicians in general, or are they dissatisfied with Obama specifically? Will voter turnout be more beneficial to Democrats in the 2016 election? In regards to the executive order, I think that it can only help the Democratic party. America is becoming increasingly polarized politically, so I highly doubt that voters will significantly change their opinions of either party based on that action. The order only reaffirms the party's stance on immigration. If need be, the future Democratic presidential elects in 2016 can voice a milder or less mild stance on immigration, so Obama's executive order should not damage his party's 2016 chances.

Brendan Vroom 6 said...

I think that this was a very smart move by Obama. By supporting immigrants in such a strong manner, Obama has gained a lot of support from the Hispanic community. This is a very important demographic for the Democratic party, as Obama carried 71% of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election, while Romney only received 27%. Although much of the Hispanic community is keen to Republican social stances, due to religious similarities, the issue of immigration seems to be important enough to sway the majority of the Hispanic population to support the Democratic party. Maintaining the support of the Hispanic demographic will be crucial if the Democrats want to win the 2016 election.

William Miyahira said...

Like the other people commented before me, I think that this is a smart play by President Obama in terms of supporting immigrants and Hispanics in general. The Hispanic vote was crucial for the Democrats in the 2012 election (look at the percentages from Brendan's comment), so employing a policy like this that would seemingly help immigrants in turn would help Democrats in the upcoming elections. There are other factors that affect the outcome of an election, of course, but this would most likely help maintain the Hispanic vote for Democrats.

Vivian Shen said...

I agree with Brendan and William that this was a smart move, and will not reiterate their points on why it was necessary.

Something I would like to bring to attention, however, is the fact that the approval rating dropped 17 percent over the span of 14 days. That's more than 1 percent per day, how exactly did that happen? I doubt that much could've happened over the course of two weeks.

Another point I would like to make is that Obama has always had a consistently high approval rating from African Americans. Therefore, although it is important for him to maintain the Hispanic vote (as previous commenters pointed out), it would not be devastating to Obama's image to lose a little big of the Hispanic vote, since the African American approval rating balances it out. In general, however, Obama's approval ratings have stayed steady for the majority of the 2014 presidential year, although it has definitely declined from end of 2012/beginning of 2013 approval ratings.

The final point I want to make is that, what will happen if the democratic party does win the 2016 election? I am obviously not an election trends expert, so I will not attempt to make a prediction. But I do want to note how difficult it has been this past presidential term to pass any sort of legislation, even though the senate and the executive branch were run by the Democrats! Now that the entire legislative branch is overrun by Republicans, think how much harder it would be for a Democratic president to pass any of his agenda! I believe that in order to have an effective government, we just might need a Republican president (although hopefully he'll be more moderate than anything).

Brian Yee said...

There was definitely a lot of improvement for Obama to win the approval ratings of Hispanic voters. In addition, his approval ratings among non-Hispanics were so low that policies would need to be particularly unpopular to drive them even further down. With that being said, Democrats have an advantage with minority voters and this might save the democratic party during the 2016 election. However, even if the democrats did win the election, the amount of conflict that would stir in government would prevent a lot of legislation from being passed. In fact, not only would the president have such a hard time passing his/her legislation but the branches themselves. It was a smart move on Obama's part to kind of secure the Hispanic vote but I think it's going to take a lot more to win the majority of the other minority voters. It was rather "easy" for Obama to appeal to the Hispanic voters because of the sinking of his approval rating since 2012 and the number of opportunities he had to really impress them.

anish amirapu said...

I think it is good that Obama had gotten the boost from that move and I do think it is some what setting up for the future. Now he has a greater appeal to them so it can very much been seen as a way for him to save his party. While the democrats did lose a lot of power I don't think people are going to have the same party controlling too many aspects of the government at the same time. To be frank I feel like any group would support the party that is helping them. So if republicans were adopt more immigration friendly policies then Obama's influence may fade.