On Friday, Gallup looked at a subset of one of Obama's consistently supportive groups in an interesting way. Jewish voters have consistently viewed Obama's job more approvingly than the country on the whole -- but the extent to which they are more supportive has dropped.
This is the key graph:
In 2011, Jewish voters were 17 points more supportive of Obama than everyone in the aggregate. In 2009, 14 points. Now, they are only 8 points more approving. In other words, you could say, the extent to which Jewish voters are more supportive has dropped six points since 2009.
There are obviously a lot of reasons why support in that group has dropped (excluding Rand Paul's social media lures). But the metric is interesting. So we wondered how have other groups' support for or opposition to Obama changed over time.
So we made graphs.
We'll start with political party. This is tricky, so bear with me for a moment. The graph below shows how much the difference between support from members of each party relative to the national average has changed since the first Gallup polling. So in that first poll, Democrats were at 88 percent approval, compared to the overall rating of 67 -- so 21 points higher. The next week, Democrats were still at 88 percent, but the country had dropped one point. So the Democrats were 22 points higher -- a one point increase from the week before. By January 2010, Democrats were 34 points higher than the rest of the country -- an increase of 13 points over that first week. Make sense?
Perhaps the most interesting thing here is that each group has remained in relatively the same range, with a few key exceptions. You can clearly see the quick drop in support from Republicans, and the massive drop in late 2012. Remember, this means that Republicans were much less likely to approve of Obama's performance relative to the country on the whole than they were in 2009. In late 2013, independents became more hostile than they had been at the outset.
If you look at party ideology, there's something else worth pulling out.
During the 2012 election, conservative-leaning Democrats (to the extent they still exist) were suddenly willing to come back on board with Obama -- just as liberal-leaning Republicans (to the even-lesser extent they still exist) shifted against him. Party seems to have trumped ideology. You can also see that the first group to turn heavily against Obama were the most conservative Republicans.
The dashed line above denotes all non-white voters -- but it's Hispanics that are the story here. There have been three bursts of support among Hispanic voters: In late 2009, around the 2012 election (after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration executive action), and -- most noticeably -- at the end of last year, when Obama pledged his next executive action on immigration.
Meanwhile, support from white voters dipped during the presidential election and has been pretty flat since -- but dipped down again at the same time Hispanic sentiment increased.
One more, just for fun:
There's overlap here with the political parties, of course, but how strange is it that support among married and non-married people diverged so much during the last election? And again, recently.
A last point. The change in the Jewish population was six points, which, compared to some of the other fluctuations on these graphs, is fairly small. Hispanics had a much bigger increase and are a much larger part of the population (about ten-to-one). The shift in support among Jewish voters is reflective of political events, to some extent -- most notably Obama's complicated relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu. But, then, so was the change among Hispanics.