UnidosUS Releases State Polling of Latino Voters on Priority Issues, Key Traits in a Presidential Candidate and Party Support

Aug 5, 2019
5:40 PM
Originally published at Latino Decisions

Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr

On Tuesday afternoon, Latino Decision released the following media release and findings from its work with UnidosUS:

SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, just prior to hosting five top democratic presidential nominees at its Annual Conference and as the 2020 election season kicks into high gear, UnidosUS released results of recent polling of Latino voters in the key electoral states of California, Texas, Nevada, Florida and Arizona. The poll, conducted by Latino Decisions, took an in-depth look into what Latino voters are looking for in a potential presidential candidate, what their issue priorities are, and what concerns them within the top issue areas identified.*

Nationally and in four of the five key states —Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas— Latino voters identified “values diversity and brings people together” as the top trait they want to see in a presidential candidate. Arizona, Florida and Texas ranked this trait even higher than the national average.

“The tragedy in El Paso is a stark reminder that words have consequences. It is not surprising that given this administration’s anti-Latino rhetoric and policies, Hispanic voters want a president that will unify the country,” said Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, UnidosUS Deputy Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. “Our poll shows that the vast majority of Latino voters are worried that things will get worse for them, and for immigrants, if Trump is re-elected. In addition, this is the first time that we’ve seen gun violence rank among the top five priority issues.”

According to the poll, 78 percent of Latinos responded being “frustrated with how President Trump and his allies treat immigrants and Latinos and worry it will get worse if Trump is re-elected.”

In terms of issues, nationally, jobs and the economy, health care, immigration, education, and gun violence were the top five most important issues that Latino voters would like a candidate to address.

Among those who ranked jobs and economy as their first priority, the main concerns were not enough jobs, job insecurity and wages. On health care, the top concerns were cost and coverage. On immigration, the top concerns were family separation and deportations. On gun violence, Latinos are worried about deaths of kids and innocent people, easy access to guns and mass shootings being too common.

“We’ve been closely following how Latinos view race relations over the past four years, and we continue to see a sharp rise in those who mention racism against immigrants and Latinos as a top concern. This poll shows Latino families are worried that Trump and his allies will make this worse in coming years,” said Matt Barreto, Principal of Latino Decisions.

Respondents of the poll were also asked about how they viewed the Republican and Democratic parties and their likelihood of supporting a candidate from either party. Results showed that, among Latinos who had supported Republican candidates in the past, more than half have a hard time supporting the GOP today and only 50 percent of self-identified Republicans are certain they will vote for Trump. According to poll results, Democrats led Trump by a three-to-one margin, but Democratic primary candidates have work to do: only 57 percent of Latino voters self-identified as Democrats said they were almost certain to vote in the primaries.

“Historically, a substantial number of Latino voters have been potential swing voters not bound by party affiliation. But it is also clear that there is a shift away from the GOP, as the Republican party has come to be seen as embracing or leading the charge on anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric and actions,” said Martinez-De-Castro.

Full poll results can be found here:

*Methodology: On behalf of UnidosUS, Latino Decisions surveyed 1,854 eligible Latino voters between June 1 and 14, 2019. The poll carries of margin of error of + / – 2.3 percentage points. Surveys were conducted in English or Spanish, according to the respondent’s choice, and were completed using a blended sample that included live telephone interviews on landlines and cell phones, and online surveys. Data were compared to the best-known estimates of the U.S. Census Current Population Survey (CPS) for demographic profile of the eligible Latino electorate and weights were applied to bring the data into direct balance with Census estimates for the Latino eligible voter population.