Understanding The Flux Of Presidential Approval Ratings

It is fair to say that presidential ratings vary wildly throughout a president’s term. For example, during September of 2001, George W. Bush’s approval ratings soared to nearly 90%. However, it collapsed as low as 25% at least three times throughout his term. Our current president, Barack Obama, has certainly seen a variety of peaks and valleys in his career, but he recently experienced a huge surge in approval ratings among Hispanic voters that pushed him up to 68% approval.

Who First Noticed This Change?

This change was first noticed by Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz on December 1. President Obama’s Hispanic approval ratings jumped 14 points in nearly two weeks to reach a peak level for the year. President Obama’s approval ratings with this particular group hasn’t been this high in over a year.

Why Did it Happen?

Abramowitz assessed the situation and compared it to President Obama’s Hispanic approval rating surge during the 2012 election. The key similarities between these two surges was President Obama’s oath to change immigration policies to suit the needs of the vast population of legal and illegally immigrants in the country. Many Hispanics feel that widespread changes are necessary to the current system, especially considering the fact that the country is made up of 54 million people of Hispanic decent.

Why Did Obama Make These Promises?

It’s hard to say why the president made promises to the Hispanic community, but it might have something to do with the population of this group in America: over 17% of the country is Hispanic, which makes it the largest ethnic minority. Working to please a group this large makes political sense: after all, they make up a huge base of potential voters. While President Obama cannot run again, it makes political sense to align his party with this group. It should be noted, however, that Republicans are attempting to court Hispanic voters with similar immigration proposals.

What Other Reasons Would Inspire Obama’s Actions?

Presidents are often concerned with the “legacy” they leave behind after they leave office. Most want to avoid low approval numbers, because that means people may not remember them fondly. President Obama likely knows he’ll never please everybody in America. So, he may be focusing on pleasing a group that already heavily supports him in order to create a positive legacy among those voters.

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