Poll of Latinos Finds Nearly 70% Feel President Ignored Early Signs of Coronavirus Spread

Apr 24, 2020
1:28 PM
Originally published at Latino Decisions

Jessica Armijo distributes food and packages of donated goods to people in need outside the Pan Y Cafe in Chelsea, Massachusetts on April 14, 2020. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The nation’s first 2020 poll of solely Latinos living in America found they overwhelmingly feel the president ignored the early signs of the coronavirus, which led to its worsening spread across the country. Overall, 69% agreed that Trump was to blame for not responding soon enough and making matters worse. The poll also found that Latinos have much more trust in their local and state governments compared to the federal government when it came to how to handle the pandemic.

“As the Latino community continues to bear the disproportionate impacts of the coronavirus when it comes to their health, their children’s education and their economic well-being, we are turning to our leaders to make sure we don’t get left behind in the recovery phase,” said Henry R. Muñoz III, co-founder of SOMOS, the organization which commissioned the poll. “This poll showed that healthcare and how the recovery is managed will be a top issue for Latinos as they head to the polls this Fall. Candidates who are serious about supporting the Latino community need to use this information as a platform-building tool.”

The poll was conducted by Latino Decisions in partnership with SOMOS, the country’s largest physician-led health delivery network. Of SOMOS’s nearly 3,000 physicians and 800,000 patients, nearly all are immigrants or first-generation Americans, and over two-thirds are Latino.

“Latino voters are very closely watching the coronavirus pandemic, it is absorbing nearly all of our attention, and pushed the 2020 presidential election to the back burner. But the Latino vote is going to be critical in November and it is urgent that candidates and campaigns communicate and connect with Latino voters right now to keep them engaged and ready to vote,” said Matt A. Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions.

The poll shows that response to the pandemic has now become the overwhelming political issue that Latinos want Congress to address, and they are closely watching news and actions on this issue, including the stimulus bill and economic assistance to the Latino community.

Numerous questions in the poll found that Latinos were generally in favor of the stimulus bills passed so far, however, they want to see access to stimulus money for all immigrants, regardless of their citizenship status. A clear majority of Latinos agree that all taxpayers should have full access to stimulus money, and the most vulnerable should not be left out. While some Republican governors tinker with re-opening parts of their states, Latinos were overwhelmingly in favor of the stay-at-home orders, even in the face of economic hardship. Overall, 81% agree with the quarantine and stay-at-home orders, with only 19% supporting efforts to re-open states.

The poll provided an early look at how Latinos feel about this November’s presidential election. In terms of the head-to-head match-up, Latinos favor former Vice President Joe Biden 59% to 22% for President Donald Trump. Among registered voters, Latinos favorability rating for Biden is 54% compared to an unfavorable rating of 24%.

When asked about intention to vote, 60% of registered voters indicated they were certain to vote in the November election. Latinos are estimated to be the largest minority group of eligible voters at more than 32 million by November 2020, and their turnout rate will be critical in many battleground states.

Muñoz, who is the co-founder of Latino Victory Project and its Executive Director Mayra Macias convened a town hall meeting today of Latino leaders and elected officials to discuss the importance of engaging Latinos and getting out the vote in November.

“Latinos are suffering the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis and the only way they can prevent another disaster like Donald Trump’s failed leadership is by voting him out,” Macias said. “Now more than ever, it is clear that who we elect into office matters. We all need to double down and remind Latinos that Trump is responsible for the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Latino Victory Fund is committed to and has a plan to remind voters that we cannot afford to relinquish our voice in November. The stakes are simply too high.”

The topline poll questions and results can be found below.


Latino Decisions is the leader in Latino political opinion research. Founded by professors of political science, Dr. Gary M. Segura and Dr. Matt Barreto, our firm leverages a unique combination of analytical expertise and cultural competencies that are unparalleled in the industry.