GOP narrows Democrats’ lead among Latino voters, new poll finds
Less than six weeks before November’s midterm elections, Democrats lead Republicans by more than 20 points among Latino voters, but that Democratic advantage has shrunk from previous election cycles, according to a new national report. NBC News/Telemundo Poll of the Latino electorate.
The poll also finds Latino voters are basically split on President Joe Biden, with 51% approving of his work and 45% disapproving.
And it shows that those voters largely side with Democrats on issues like abortion, health care and addressing the concerns of the Hispanic community. But he has them too support republicans on crime and the economy.
These are the main results of a survey – conducted nationwide among 1,000 Latino voters registered in English and Spanish – to better understand this key electorate, especially after Republican gains with them during the last presidential election.
“As Latinos continue to lean toward the Democratic Party and prefer Democratic control of Congress, Republicans have a higher vote share than we’ve measured before,” said Democratic pollster Aileen Cardona-Arroyo of Hart Research. Associates, which conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff and his team at Public Opinion Strategies.
McInturff added: “Being behind by 20 points is much better [for Republicans] than to be down 40 points,” referring to previous NBC/Telemundo studies of Latino voters.
What also emerges from this new poll are the differences between Latino men and Latino women, between Latino Democrats and Latino Republicans, between Catholic and non-Catholic Latinos, and between Latinos in California and those in Florida and from Texas.
“Latinos are an incredibly diverse community, and there are many segments of Latino voters — not just one Latino voter,” said Cardona-Arroyo, the Democratic pollster.
In the NBC News/Telemundo poll, 54% of Latino voters say they prefer Democrats to control Congress following the upcoming midterm elections, compared to 33% who want Republicans in control.
This 21-point Democratic lead in Congressional preference is down from previous NBC/Telemundo oversamples of Latino voters in October 2020 (when it was 26 points), November 2018 (34 points), October 2016 ( 38 points) and October 2012 (42 points).
There are also clear differences among Latinos: Latinos from California (D+30), Latinas (D+29) and Catholic Latinos (D+27) are more likely to prefer democratic control of Congress than Latinos from Florida (D+7), male Latinos (D+9) and non-Catholic Latinos (D+15).
“Margins matter,” said Cardona-Arroyo, the Democratic pollster.
Mixed opinions on Biden
Regarding President Biden, 51% of Latino voters in the poll say they approve of the president’s work, compared to 45% who disapprove.
Again, there are key divisions here: Latino Catholics, Latino women, and older Latinos support Biden more than non-Catholic Latinos, Latino men, and young Latinos.
While a majority of all Latinos approve of Biden’s overall work as president, he gets lower marks on the questions — 49% approve of his handling of foreign policy, 42% approve of him on border security and immigration, and 41% approve of his work on the economy.
When asked if Biden’s economic policies had helped or hurt economic conditions, 33% said they had helped, 39% said they had hurt, and an additional 26% said they didn’t. didn’t make much difference.
Democrats versus Republicans on the stakes
On these issues, Latino voters think Democrats are doing a better job of managing abortion (by a 50%-23% margin), addressing concerns from the Hispanic community (49%-23%), protecting democracy (48%-28%) and health care (46%-21%).
Yet they favor Republicans over Democrats on the economy (38% say the GOP handles the problem better, versus 34% who say Democrats do), border security (36%-33%) and crime (36%-28%).
Asked what they consider to be the most important problem facing the country, 23% said the cost of living, 20% said “threats to democracy”, 17% said employment and economy and 11% said immigration and the border situation.
In NBC News’ national poll of all voters last month, the top responses – in order – were ‘threats to democracy’ (20%), cost of living (18%), jobs and economy (16%) and immigration/border (12%).
On abortion and immigration
Finally, the NBC News/Telemundo poll shows a majority of Latino voters — 54% — say they disapprove of the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade, while 37% approve.
That’s not far off what last month’s NBC News national poll found among all registered voters, with 61% disapproving and 37% disapproving.
Yet for Latinos on this issue, there are significant divisions by party and religion.
Seventy-five percent of Latino Democrats disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, against 42% of independents and only 22% of Latino Republicans.
By religion, 53% of Latino Catholics disapprove of the decision, compared to 59% of Latino Evangelical Christians who approve.
And on immigration, two-thirds of Latino voters — 65% — think migrants and refugees arriving at the southern border should be allowed to seek asylum and stay in the United States until their asylum application is heard.
That compares to 31% of Latinos who say these migrants and refugees should be immediately detained and returned to their home countries.
By party, 83% of Latin Democrats believe these migrants and refugees should be allowed to stay, compared to 64% of GOP Latinos who believe they should be detained and removed.
The NBC News/Telemundo Poll was conducted September 17-26 with 1,000 registered Latino voters, 75% of whom completed the survey in English and 25% in Spanish.
Respondents were contacted by landline, cellphone and SMS. And the poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com