U.S. Hispanics Overwhelmingly Approve of President Obama’s Performance Over His First 100 Days on the Job

Approval Rating among Hispanics Over 20 Points Higher than among the General U.S. Population

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicago, IL – President Barack Obama hits the highly anticipated 100-day milestone of his presidency with overwhelming support from the U.S. Hispanic population.

In a recent Ipsos U.S. Hispanic Omnibus poll conducted by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 514 Hispanics aged 18 and older, 86% said that they approve of President Obama’s work in the White House (55% strongly approve and 23% somewhat approve). This compares favorably to a simultaneous Ipsos Public Affairs poll of 1,138 adults representative of the general U.S. population, in which 63% said that they approve of the president’s performance (35% strongly and 18% somewhat).

The difference between President Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics only and the U.S. population at large is almost identical when looking only at those who are registered voters: While 58% of registered voters of any ethnicity approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president, 80% of Hispanic registered voters do so. Furthermore, President Obama enjoys majority approval ratings from Hispanics regardless of party affiliation.

Each group was asked to rate President Obama’s performance on issues including the economy and jobs, diplomacy, terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, education, and energy independence, using an alpha grading system ranging from “A” for “Excellent” to “F” for “Failure.” In a significant sign of support for the president, U.S. Hispanics’ ratings of his work consistently surpassed those of the general U.S. population.

“These figures show us that not only are U.S. Hispanics pleased with the country’s leadership, but they are also supportive of his handling of a variety of domestic and global issues. During the campaign, and even shortly after President Obama’s election, questions arose as to how U.S. Hispanics would support the 44th president of the United States of America. This survey shows that, at least to this point in the presidency, U.S. Hispanics are clearly voicing their approval of the President’s actions during the course of these first 100 days,” according to Cynthia Pelayo, Senior Research Manager.

Tackling Issues at Home: Hispanics Approve of President Obama’s Handling of the Economy, Health Care and Education

When it comes to the economy and jobs, 61% of U.S Hispanics surveyed rated President Obama’s performance as A for “excellent” or B for “good”, compared to 47% of general U.S. population respondents.

Hispanics’ approval of the president’s handling of education also surpasses that of the general population as three-quarters (75%) of U.S. Hispanics gave President Obama high marks in this area, compared with 57% of the general population.

Other strong approval categories on the domestic front among Hispanics are as follows:

  • Over two-thirds of U.S. Hispanics (70%) rated President Obama’s handling of health care – a high-profile issue – as excellent or good, compared with 50% of the general population.
  • When looking at energy independence, approval of the president stands at 64% among U.S. Hispanics versus 54% in the general population.

Tackling Issues Abroad: Hispanics Approve of President Obama’s Handling of Diplomacy, War, and Terrorism

On all global issues, U.S. Hispanics consistently give President Obama higher approval ratings than the general population. In the past 100 days, Americans have watched closely how President Obama is dealing with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall, U.S. Hispanics approve of the way the president has handled both of them, more so than does the general population: 58% versus 49% gave him high marks regarding the war in Iraq; 59% versus 51% regarding the war in Afghanistan.

  • On his handling of terrorism in general, the president also has a slightly higher approval rating among Hispanics (58%) than he does among the general population (49%).
  • President Obama’s performance in the area of diplomacy was rated as excellent or good by 70% of U.S. Hispanics, compared with 61% of the general population.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted April 3- 21, 2009 with a nationally representative sample of 514 Hispanics aged 18 and older, interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Hispanic Omnibus; and an Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted April 2-6, 2009 with a nationally representative sample of 1,138 adults aged 18 and older, interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Omnibus. (Note that the 1,138 adults in the general U.S. population sample include 153 Hispanics, reflecting the actual proportion of Hispanics in the total U.S. adult population.)

The results of the poll of Hispanics are considered accurate within ± 4.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Hispanic population in the U.S. been polled. The results of the poll of the general U.S. population are considered accurate within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the U.S. been polled.

The margins of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

To ensure that both samples includes acculturated and less acculturated Hispanics, respondents to both the U.S. Hispanics Omnibus and the U.S. Telephone Omnibus were offered the option of being interviewed in English or Spanish.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Cynthia Pelayo
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Omnibus Services
(312) 777-3953

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U.S. Hispanics Overwhelmingly Approve of President Obama’s Performance Over His First 100 Days on the Job


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America