From my Time.com story on President Obama’s immigration speech Thursday, some key polling numbers that are shaping the White House behavior:
Obama was elected into office on the promise that he would tackle immigration in 2009. He decided, however, to give priority to health care reform, financial regulatory reform and energy legislation. As recently as two months ago, on Air Force One, just as Senate leaders were announcing a new push on immigration reform, the President was caught in a moment of candor. “We’ve gone through a very tough year and I’ve been working Congress very hard, so I know there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue,” he said of immigration reform.
“That pretty much killed chances of reform [this year],” says Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice, a group that supports comprehensive reform. “Unless there is some miracle, we are talking about early next year.”
Around the same time as Obama’s Air Force One comment, the Gallup poll noted a significant drop in Hispanic support for the President, a major concern for White House political advisers who need Hispanic votes in 2010 and ’12 in swing states like Nevada, Colorado and Florida. Gallup measured a 6-point drop in Hispanic job approval, from 63% to 57% between April and May. The drop was 11 points among Hispanics who were interviewed by Gallup in Spanish. During the same period, Gallup noted no change in the job approval for Obama among non-Hispanic black or white voters.
See the Gallup polling results here.