Nearly 60 Percent of Latino Voters Have Yet to Be Contacted by Candidates or Parties in Advance of 2018 Election

Sep 21, 2018
8:59 am
Originally published at Latino Decisions

(Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Less than two months before Latino voters head to the polls for the 2018 midterm elections, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and Latino Decisions released the toplines and crosstabs of the third wave of its ten-week national tracking poll of Latino registered voters.

Results from the third week of the NALEO Educational Fund/Latino Decisions Weekly Political Tracking Poll offer exclusive insights into the Latino electorate this year, including newly released crosstabs that break down Latino voters surveyed by state/region, age, gender, generational status, and more.  Each week a fresh sample of 250 registered voters will be added and combined with the previous 250 interviews to create a rolling average. This week’s poll was conducted by Latino Decisions from September 8-17, 2018 (with a margin of error of 4.4 percent).

“With less than six weeks to go before Election Day, Latinos across the country are still being ignored,” stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund chief executive officer. “Time is running out.  If the candidates and campaigns want to ensure Latino voters show up at the polls this year, including in key states like Texas and Florida, they need to make significant investments in outreach efforts that acknowledge the importance of this growing electorate now.”

“Given how important the Latino vote will be in deciding dozens of races in 2018, it is remarkable that we have not seen any movement in the percent of Latinos who report being contacted by campaigns,” said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions and Professor at UCLA.  “Not surprising, there has not been any change in how Latinos view the political parties, with over 40 percent stating the Democrats ignore or attack Latinos and over 75 percent stating the Republicans ignore or attack Latinos.  If Latino turnout is low this November it will be because of inadequate outreach, not any defect with Latino eligible voters.”

Key findings from the toplines and crosstabs include:

  • Latino voters are still being ignored nationwide. The third wave of the poll shows no movement in contact rates.  Nearly 60 percent of Latino registered voters nationwide report still not being contacted by a candidate or political party, including those residing in states with competitive races like Texas and Florida.  Among those polled, Latino voters who are over the age of 70 (72 percent), foreign-born (67 percent), making under $40k (66 percent), and female (64 percent) were the most likely to report being ignored.
  • Texas Latino voters most likely to think 2018 Election is more important than 2014. More than three in four Latino voters (76 percent) in the Lone Star State see participating in 2018 Election as more important than the previous midterm elections.  This is in comparison to 68 percent of Latino voters nationwide who see this year as more important than 2014 Election.  Despite the importance assigned to this year’s elections, we are still not seeing any uptick in outreach to Texas Latino voters at this point in the campaign season.  Only 41 percent of Latinos report being contacted, with Democrats the most likely to engage them (57 percent—compared to 35 percent for Republicans).
  • Other groups of Latino voters place high importance on 2018 Election 2018 well. Compared to all Latino voters, Cuban-Americans (78 percent), likely voters (76 percent), Republicans (76 percent), and English media viewers (73 percent) were the most likely to view the 2018 Election as more important than 2014.
  • Florida continues to be a Latino battleground state where outreach is critical. Latinos in Florida were the most likely to give Democrats the lowest grade for outreach to the Latino community, with only 44 percent saying they are doing a good job.  Republicans receive low marks as well with only 24 percent rating them good on outreach.  Results show 52 percent of Florida Latinos have an overall favorable view of Democrats in Congress, with 47 percent for Republicans in Congress.  Latino voters in the Sunshine state were also the most likely to view President Trump favorably (41 percent, compared to 23 percent nationwide).
  • DREAM Act and universal background checks have strong support. There are two policy issues with universal support: DREAM Act and universal background checks.  Across every single state and demographic group, including Republicans and Cuban-Americans, there is overwhelming support among Latino voters to pass the DREAM Act (80 percent) and require universal background checks (85 percent) for gun purchases.

As we near the 2018 Election, NALEO Educational Fund will continue its efforts to ensure that Latino voters have the information necessary to make their voices heard at the ballot box.  These efforts include operating our toll-free bilingual hotline 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) that provides Latino voters with information on every aspect of the electoral process, from registering to vote, to voter ID requirements, to finding their polling place.  On Election Day, the hotline will be connected to the Election Protection efforts and 1-866-OUR-VOTE, offering Latino voters nationwide a bilingual resource to get assistance and report any problems they may experience at the polls.

To view the methodology and full toplines for week three of the ten-week tracking poll, visit http://www.latinodecisions.com/index.php/download_file/764/

To view the crosstabs for week three of the ten-week tracking poll, visit http://www.latinodecisions.com/files/9115/3738/8436/NALEO_Week_3_Crosstabs.pdf

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About NALEO Educational Fund

NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

About Latino Decisions

Latino Decisions is the nation’s leading polling and research firm on Latino Americans, being called the “gold-standard in Latino American polling” by Time Magazine, and has implemented its weekly political tracking poll of Latino voters every cycle since 2010.

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