Driven by strong support from Latinos and African Americans, Californians continue to view President Barack Obama’s performance favorably during his final summer in office, according to a new poll.
The latest Field Poll finds California voters give the Democratic president a 57 percent approval rating. Perspectives largely followed party lines – Republicans disapproved of Obama’s performance (77 percent) nearly as much as Democrats approved (80 percent).
Views also differed among ethnicities. While 89 percent of African Americans and 63 percent of Latinos gave Obama a thumbs up, only 51 percent of white voters agreed.
Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said Obama is gaining support among minorities. About 84 percent of African Americans and 53 percent of Latinos viewed his work positively in June 2014, he said.
“The president in his early years was kind of hamstrung by trying to create a bipartisan Congress to move through the people’s business in Washington,” DiCamillo said. “In later years, he’s speaking from his own mind. The public is seeing his true ideology, and he’s not trying to make any compromises.”
Obama was viewed particularly well in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County, heavily Democratic urban centers where his approval rating hovered at 67 and 64 percent, respectively.
Looking as far back as Jimmy Carter’s final summer in office in 1980, only Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were viewed more favorably at similar points during their presidencies.
DiCamillo said opinions are largely shaped by the state of the economy.
“If things are going well in the U.S., both economically and if we’re not at war, they are generally giving their elected leaders positive reviews,” DiCamillo said.
As a Republican in a blue state during dire economic times, the approval rating of Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush dropped to as low as 24 percent in July 2008.