New National Poll Shows Biden, Sanders, O’Rourke, and Castro Ahead With Latino Voters in Lead Up to 2020

Apr 17, 2019
11:08 AM
Originally published at Latino Decisions

Joe Biden (Photo by Kuhlmann/ MSC), Bernie Sanders (Photo by TDKR Chicago 101), Julián Castro (Photo from his announcement), Beto O’Rourke (Photo by crockodile)

NALEO presidential candidate forum, taking place June 21 at Telemundo Center in Miami, will offer candidates a unique opportunity to address Latino leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C.Less than 10 months before the 2020 primaries and caucuses begin, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and Latino Decisions today released the results of a new national poll of Latino registered voters.

Results from the NALEO Educational Fund/Latino Decisions Spring 2019 National Poll offer exclusive insights into the Latino electorate, including candidate favorability, campaign and party outreach, issue priorities, views on the Mueller investigation and the President’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, and more.

Poll findings show that the race for the Latino vote in the 2020 democratic presidential nomination is wide open, with only four candidates currently holding at least a 45 percent favorability rating among Latino voters. These candidates include: Vice President Joe Biden (59 percent), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (58 percent), Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke (48 percent), and Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (45 percent).

As part of this year’s NALEO Annual Conference (June 21-23, 2019), NALEO Educational Fund is hosting a presidential candidate forum in partnership with Presenting Sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo. Taking place on June 21 at the new Telemundo Center headquarters in Miami, the Forum will offer candidates seeking the support of the nation’s fastest growing population of new voters a unique opportunity to engage Latino leadership on the issues that matter most to the Latino community.

“This poll confirms what we have known for some time, that the Latino vote is very much up for grabs in the race for the democratic presidential nomination in 2020,” stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund chief executive officer. “Candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge the President will need to invest in a robust Latino voter engagement effort if they want to secure the support of Latinos in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. By showing up to address the issues of most concern to Latinos during our presidential candidate forum at Telemundo Center this June, candidates can send a clear message that they value the support of the Latino community and its political leadership.”

Other key findings include:

  • Latinos are following Election 2020 closely and are eager to make their voices heard, especially in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. Interest in Election 2020 is high. More than eight in ten (84 percent) of Latino voters reported being likely or certain to vote in November 2020, with Latinas (85 percent), Democrats (87 percent) and those over the age of 50 (90 percent) among those most likely to state that they will likely cast a ballot. Survey results showed that interest in participating in the upcoming primaries and caucuses to select the nominee who will run against President Trump is even greater than the general election, with 90 percent of Latinos stating that they were likely or certain to vote.
  • The 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race is wide open. Less than one-third (29 percent) of Latino voters have made up their minds about who they want to support in the race for the democratic presidential nomination. Several candidates had unknown ratings at or above 50 percent, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee (57 percent), Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (54 percent), Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (52 percent), Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (51 percent), and South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg (50 percent).
  • If the election were held today, President Donald Trump would be in trouble with Latino voters. If the election were held today, President Donald Trump would be in trouble with Latino voters. Nearly three in four (72 percent) Latino voters hold an unfavorable view of the President. Texans (79 percent), those aged 18-29 (77 percent) and Spanish-speaking respondents (75 percent) were most likely to hold a negative view of the President. Of those polled, 20 percent said they would or were leaning towards voting to re-elect President Trump. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Latinos indicated that they plan to vote for the Democratic candidate in Election 2020.
  • Both parties have room for improvement in outreach to Latinos. Only two in ten Latino voters (20 percent) think President Trump and the Republican party are doing a good job reaching out to Latinos. While Democrat candidates had much higher ratings from Latinos (57 percent), the findings show that both parties can do a better job of engaging the nation’s second largest population group in the lead up to Election 2020.
  • Health care and the economy are top issues for Latinos right now. Latino voters view the economy as the top issue this election, with 43 percent of respondents stating they want the President and Congress to improve wages and incomes, and create more jobs. Lowering the costs of health care (37 percent) also ranked high for the Latino community, with nearly three in four stating that they want the Obamacare health law to be upheld (72 percent). Protecting immigrant rights (19 percent) followed the economy and health care as the third most important issue for Latino voters.
  • Latino voters believe that President Trump coordinated with Russia in 2016. A majority of Latino voters (56 percent) polled believe that the President coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election and want Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report released (76 percent) to the public as soon as possible.
  • Racism is viewed as a real problem for Latinos and immigrants. Concern over racism against Latinos and immigrants looms large, with 81 percent of Latinos reporting that they believe it is a problem in this country.
  • There is little support among Latinos for the President’s decision to declare a national state of emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. Only 27 percent of Latinos agreed with the President’s decision to declare a national emergency. Support for the bi-partisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to stop the President from re-directing federal money for a border wall was high, with more than eight in ten (82 percent) Latino voters reporting that Congress was right to try to block the President.

As we near Election 2020, 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.

To view the toplines and methodology for the NALEO Educational Fund/Latino Decisions Spring 2019 National Poll, see below:

Crosstabs for the NALEO Educational Fund/Latino Decisions Spring 2019 National poll results are available at

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.