WASHINGTON — A substantial majority of Latinos say the Democratic Party cares about them and works harder for their votes than the Republicans, according to a report published by Pew Research Center on Thursday.
The report also shows that a slim majority (52 percent) say there isn’t a great deal of difference in what the two parties stand for.
The numbers are based on a survey of 3,029 Latinos conducted by Pew from August 1 to 14, 2022.
Forty-five percent of the Latinos surveyed said that the Republican Party “works hard to earn the votes of Latinos,” and about 34 percent do not believe that “the Democratic Party really cares about Latinos” or that “the Democratic Party represents the interests of people like you.”
As an indication of the resentment felt toward both parties, more than one in five Latinos (22 percent) say neither party “really cares about Latinos.”
More than half of Republican or Republican-leaning Latinos say “the Democratic Party works hard to earn Latinos’ votes,” while 36 percent say “the Democratic Party really cares about Latinos.”
On the flip side, only 21 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning Latinos say “the Republican Party really cares about Latinos,” and 35 percent say “the Republican Party works hard to earn Latinos’ votes.”
In terms of differences between the two parties, only 36 percent of all Latinos surveyed said that “there is a fair amount of difference” in what the Democrats and Republicans stand for, with 16 percent saying there is “hardly any difference at all” between the two.
The Pew study also finds that party affiliation among Latinos has remained steady for the past few years, with Latino registered voters identifying as or leaning Democratic more than Republican by a margin of almost two-to-one—64 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
A recent survey conducted by Telemundo stations in Texas found that “the number of Latino voters [in Texas] identifying themselves as Democrats has dropped from 63% to 54%,” while “individuals identifying as Independents has increased from 17% to 25%.”
“Latino voters are the nation’s second-largest group of eligible voters (adult U.S. citizens) and are among its fastest-growing voter blocks,” write senior writer and editor Jens Manuel Krogstad, research associate Khadijah Edwards, and Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of race and ethnicity research. “In 2022, nearly 35 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, accounting for 14% of the nation’s eligible voters.”
Widespread discontent among Latino voters is one major area of concern for the Democrats as they head into the final weeks before Election Day on November 8.
A full 77 percent of Latinos surveyed by Pew said they were dissatisfied with the current state of the country, with 54 percent saying they disapproved of President Joe Biden’s performance in office.
Only 30 percent say they’ve given “a lot of thought” to this year’s midterm elections, “with Latino Republicans and Republican leaners more likely than Latino Democrats and Democratic leaners to say this (36% vs. 27%),” the authors write. “Yet equal shares of Latino Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters (60%) and Latino Republicans and GOP-leaning registered voters (60%) say it really matters who wins control of Congress.”
In terms of the issues, the economy remains the top priority among Latino voters, with 80 percent saying it “is a very important issue when deciding who to vote for in the upcoming congressional midterm elections”—a share that has remained unchanged since a survey conducted in March.
“Other top issues include health care (71%), violent crime and education (70% each) and gun policy (66%),” the report reads.
Pew notes the marked climb of abortion as a key issue among Latinos voters, with the share of Latinos voters who say it is a very important issue when making electoral decisions rising from 42 percent in March to 57 percent in August—“a shift that comes after the Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal guarantee of a right to legal abortion in the United States,” the authors explain.
A majority of Latino voters list voting rights, energy policy, immigration, the climate crisis, and Supreme Court appointments as a priority, while less than half say the same of issues around race and ethnicity, foreign policy, and the COVID pandemic.
Relatedly, on Wednesday —and for the third week in a row— the results of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund’s 2022 National Latino Voter Tracking Poll found that inflation and the rising cost of living to be the most important issue for Latino voters, at 50 percent, with women’s reproductive rights coming in a distant second, at 29 percent.
In contrast to the Pew Study, the NALEO tracking poll found that a little more than half of the Latino voters surveyed gave President Biden a favorable rating. The poll also found that “Latino voters continue to favor Democrats over Republicans in congressional races by a margin of 55–30 percent.”
The NALEO poll surveyed 466 Latino registered voters between September 13 and 25, with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.
The Pew study also touches on Latinos’ views of former President Donald Trump, racial discrimination, abortion, gun policy, and LGBT rights.
Fifty-seven percent of all Latinos surveyed by Pew said that abortion should be legal in at least some cases—slightly below the 62 percent of all U.S. adults who say the same.
Less than half of Latinos say that same-sex marriage and the acceptance of trans people are at least “somewhat good” for society—37 and 36 percent, respectively.
In contrast, while 73 percent of Latinos say gun control is more important than a citizen’s right to own guns, only 52 percent of all U.S. adults say the same.