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Hispanics souring on Obamacare -- and Democrats too?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Michael Barone,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Polls,Race and Diversity

Will Hispanics remain a heavily Democratic voting bloc? Maybe not. The 2008 electoral exit poll showed them breaking 67 to 30 percent for Barack Obama (despite John McCain's support of comprehensive immigration legislation) and the 2012 exit poll showed them breaking 71 to 27 percent for Obama (making them one of the few demographic groups whose support for Obama increased rather than decreased between 2008 and 2012).

But Obamcare may be costing the president and his party support among Hispanics. Sharp-eyed analyst Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News notes that the latest Pew Research Center poll on the Affordable Care Act shows 47 percent of Hispanics approving of it and 47 percent disapproving. As the Pew analysts note, this is a huge drop: 61 percent of Hispanics approved of Obamacare in September 2013. Obamacare, after all, was sold as a program that would help the uninsured, and a significantly higher than average percentage of Hispanics don't have health insurance.

But that was then and this is now. Obamacare in practice proved a lot less attractive to Hispanics than Obamacare in principle. The Spanish language website CuidadoDeSalud.gov was not just glitchy but totally inoperative for more than two months after the Oct. 1 launch date. “When you get into the details of the plans, it's not all written in Spanish," a Miami navigator told the Associated Press, according to the Washington Post's Wonkblog. “It's written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them.” And of course the policies and coverage have fallen far short of the president's promises.

I think that Obamacare may be discrediting Big Government generally among Hispanic voters. They may have assumed that government in the United States was competent and functional. They have been finding out that Obamacare has been about as competent and functional as government in Mexico.

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