This is startling especially when you consider a recent Gallup poll found the president only has a 39 percent approval rating among whites.
Also the new Latino Decisions poll found that Latino voters rank health care reform as more important to them than immigration reform.
I was surprised to learn that so many Latinos still support our president compared to the general population.
Maybe it can be summed up in a popular phrase, "Esperanza muere al ultimo," or "Hope dies last," (also the name of a Studs Terkel book.)
Personally, I want our president to be able to push through health care reform and immigration reform.
I think that a lot of Latinos are losing patience but they haven't completely given up hope as reflected in the poll results.
This new poll, which was commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, and impreMedia surveyed 1,000 Latino voters. It found that the most important issue they wanted Congress and the president to address was health care. Of those polled, 32 percent said that was the number one issue. It was followed by fixing the economy at 22 percent and immigration reform at 17 percent.
When asked to pick which issue was more important immigration or health care reform, 67 percent picked health care reform and 20 percent immigration reform, 10 percent said they carried the same weight and 3 percent said they didn't know or cared about another issue more.
This not surprising since those polled are U.S. citizens. However, many Latino citizens have relatives and friends who are undocumented and show great sympathy for them.
When asked about immigration reform alone, 62 percent said the passage of an immigration reform bill before the 2010 congressional election was important or extremely important.
The poll also found most Latino voters support health care for undocumented immigrants. Of those polled 67 percent said anybody living in the United States should be eligible for health care and it shouldn't be restricted to American citizens and legal residents. However, 25 percent of Latino voters said it should be restricted to citizens and legal residents.
President Obama has said that undocumented immigrants won't benefit from health care reform. The Senate bill would restrict undocumented immigrants from purchasing a plan in the insurance pools with their own money and also prohibit legal immigrants from receiving federal health care subsidies for five years, according to Americas Society.
By supporting these provisions the Obama administration is going too far to please the Republicans and the president risks alienating Latino voters.
Latino voters could lose their enthusiasm for President Obama if health care fails, or if he delays further in pushing for immigration reform.
For now the poll shows Latino voters are showing paciencia (patience) and giving the president a chance.
We'll see how long that lasts.