New Univision Pre-Debate Poll Says Sanders Has Highest Favorability Rating With US Latino Voters

Sep 10, 2019
4:17 PM

Bernie Sanders in Los Angeles earlier this summer. (Photo by Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

With the next Democratic debate happening this Thursday in Houston, a new Univision poll of U.S. Latino national and Texas voters said that Bernie Sanders has the highest favorability rating of all 2020 candidates.

Before the first debate of the summer, Sanders’ favorability was at 59%. In the poll released on Tuesday, that rating was at 67%.

Joe Biden also saw a similar jump, from 56% to 64%. Elizabeth Warren climbed from 44% to 53%.

The Univision poll noted that 22% of U.S. Latino voters would vote for Biden, with 20% saying they would vote for Sanders. Twelve percent would vote for Julián Castro and 11% would vote for Warren.

What About Texas?

In addition to national Latino voters, the Univision poll surveyed overall Texas voters, and concluded that “40% of registered voters in the state say they will vote for the Democrat who prevails in the party’s primary, while 33% say they will support president Trump. If undecided voters leaning one way or the other are included, the advantage would be 47% to 42% in favor of the Democrats.”

The poll said that Sanders would win Texas, 48%-42%, over Trump, with Biden winning 47% to 43% and Senator Warren would taking the state, 44% to 42%.

Other conclusions from the poll include the following:


  • President Trump maintains a job approval of 22% among Latino registered voters.
  • A strong majority of U.S. Latinos (62%) say they are certain to vote for a Democratic candidate.
  • Among those who are less certain, 15% said they are leaning Democrat, 5% are leaning toward Trump, and 11% remain undecided.
  • In specific matchups, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are seen as the stronger candidates, with a +56% and a +53% advantage respectively (Biden 71% vs Trump 15%; Sanders 71% vs Trump 18%).
  • Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris maintained the gains they made among Latinos after the first and second primary debates (11%, 8% respectively).
  • With regard to the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, 69% of respondents think that the language President Trump uses in his speeches and on Twitter is part of the problem. A similar percentage believe that the shooter was influenced by Trump.
  • 74% of Latinos believe that white supremacist groups pose a threat to the United States.
  • An overwhelming majority (92%) of Latinos believe that Congress should pass a law expanding background checks for all gun sales and transfers.


  • In Texas, Republican senator John Cornyn holds a -36% vote intention deficit (Democrat 58% vs Cornyn 22%) among Latinos and a +1% advantage in the statewide sample (Cornyn 41% vs Democrat 40%).
  • When Texans were asked whether Castro or Beto O’Rourke should drop out of the presidential race and instead run for the U.S. Senate, the majority stated that they support both candidates’ presidential bids.
  • O’Rourke is the favorite candidate among Texans, registering 26% favorability among Texas Latinos and 19% among all voters polled in the statewide sample.

Methodology: Univision Communications Inc., Latino Decisions and North Star Opinion collaborated on a national poll of registered Latinos to vote (n = 1,043 +/- 3.0%). In addition, an oversampling of registered Latinos to vote in Texas (n = 500) was included, which was combined with Latino Texans in the national survey for a total of n = 641 Latino Texans (+/- 3.9%). Likewise, a sample of non-Hispanic Texans (n = 504) was included and combined with the sample of Latino Texans (n = 500) for a total state sample of n = 1,004 (+/- 3.1%). The two modules focused on Texas were made in partnership with the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston. The survey was conducted between August 31 and 6 September 2019.

All voters were randomly selected and given the opportunity to complete the polling via telephone (mobile or landline) or completing it by themselves through an email invitation received on your phone or computer. It was confirmed that all respondents were registered voters and were reviewed with a voter file (TargetSmart). The survey was available in English and Spanish and each respondent decided how to respond when contacted. The invitations to complete the survey were sent in English and Spanish. After collecting the information in the field, post-stratification weightings were applied to ensure that the final sample is aligned with the best estimates of registered Census CPS voters by state, gender, age, education and place of birth. For Texas, the state sample was weighted to align with the racial and ethnic demographics of the state (Anglo-Saxon 56%; Hispanic 28%; Black 13%; another 3%). The survey was supervised by the director of surveys of Univision, Dr. Sergio García-Ríos, in collaboration with Latino Decisions and NorthStar Opinion, and the professor at the University of Houston, Jerónimo Cortina. National sample: n = 1,043 Latinos registered to vote; Latin Texans: n = 641 Latinos registered to vote; Texas sample: n = 1,004 registered voters.