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Minorities, young Americans still backing Obama: survey

Barack Obama is holding on to his support from the so-called “Obama coalition” of minorities, liberals and young Americans, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows, creating an incentive for the next Democratic presidential nominee to stick with him and his policies.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, by comparison, is viewed somewhat less favorably by the key voting groups whose record-setting turnout in 2008 propelled Obama to the White House and will be crucial to her own success.

Roughly two-thirds of Hispanics view Obama favorably, compared to just over half of Hispanics who say the same about Clinton. Among self-identified liberals, Obama’s favorability stands at 87 per cent, to Clinton’s 72 per cent.

Half of Americans under the age of 30 view Obama favorably, compared to just 38 per cent for his former secretary of state.

The findings offer a window into the factors at play as Clinton decides how closely to embrace Obama, his record and his policies in her campaign for president.

Although associating herself with Obama could turn off some independent and Republican-leaning voters, electoral math and changing demographics make it critical for Democrats to turn out high numbers of Hispanics, African Americans and young voters.

Overall, Obama’s job approval rating stands at 43 percent, a leveling off following an AP-GfK poll conducted in early February that put his approval at 47 per cent slightly higher than it had been through most of 2014.

The number of Americans who disapprove of Obama’s job performance has stayed relatively steady at 55 per cent.

When AP-GfK polled in October 2014, Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics had plummeted to 39 per cent, as Hispanic advocacy groups demanded that Obama take aggressive action on immigration. One month later, he did just that and his job approval among Hispanics now stands at 56 per cent.

Whereas 72 per cent of liberals approved of Obama’s performance in October, that number now appears to have climbed, to 82 per cent.

The survey reinforces a concern expressed by many Democrats about Clinton’s candidacy: that she just doesn’t inspire the levels of enthusiasm among traditional Democratic constituencies that were so critical to Obama’s success.

In an AP-GfK poll conducted in January and February, nearly half of Americans 47 per cent described the economy as “good,” almost as many as the 51 per cent who called it “poor.” Since then, views of the economy have grown slightly more negative, with 41 per cent now saying the economy is “good” and 57 per cent saying it’s “poor.