News Release

New NCLR Poll: 90 Percent of Latino Voters Believe Congress Should Take Action to Help Working Families

Upcoming tax deals could offer lawmakers a chance to win over Hispanics

November 20, 2015    

Contact:
Joseph Rendeiro
jrendeiro@nclr.org 
(202) 776-1566 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released a national poll of Latino voters, administered by Latino Decisions, which found that the economy is once again the top issue for the Hispanic electorate, tied with immigration. Voters were split on whether the overall economy is moving in the right direction or has remained stagnant or gotten worse. However, respondents expressed overwhelming support for tax policies that benefit working families with children.

“Latino voters are issue voters. Our poll shows that where the economy is concerned, the overwhelming majority will judge candidates based on their track record of support for policies that promote equal opportunity for Latinos to succeed and climb the economic ladder,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at NCLR. “Lawmakers have an opportunity in the next month to shore up support among Hispanics by including tax credits for working families in the upcoming tax deals for businesses.”

As Congress works out a year-end deal on taxes, on the table are provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which keep millions of Hispanic families out of poverty. If Congress fails to act, five million Latino working families stand to lose an average of $1,000 each in tax credits. The poll found strong support among Latino voters for action this year on these credits:

  • Ninety-one percent said it is important for Congress to support tax credits for working families.
  • Seventy-five percent indicated it was very important for the tax code to reward people who work, while 73 percent believe the tax code should help families with children.
  • Sixty-six percent said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who lowered taxes for businesses but did not help working families.

“Latinos are not divided on these issues,” said Dr. Sylvia Manzano, Principal at Latino Decisions. “The level of accord is overwhelming. A strong majority of Latinos of all ages, parties, income and education levels want for Congress to support and protect Latino families with tax policy that ‎will allow this community to flourish. Attention to elections is at an all-time high for this electorate; Latinos are listening very carefully and will vote accordingly.”

The tax deal presents an opportunity for elected officials to win over Latino voters. However, they cannot rely on their track record on the economy alone to make inroads with the Hispanic electorate. More than 40 percent of Latino voters say they are already paying more attention to this presidential election cycle, which has seen numerous candidates use anti-immigrant rhetoric to drum up support. The findings in the poll show a clear link between these two issues, with more than half of respondents reporting they believe jobs and economic opportunities will be worse off for Latinos if a candidate who opposes immigration reform is elected.

“You cannot disrespect and viciously attack our community and, moments later, argue that we are better off economically with you in power. That goes for presidential candidates, as well as members of Congress who seek to use immigrant families as bargaining chips in tax deals,” said Hector Sanchez, Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, who noted the strong opposition (71 percent) among respondents to candidates who proposed cutting the Child Tax Credit for noncitizens.

“The Hispanic electorate is watching closely to what is happening on Capitol Hill today and will stand by candidates who have consistently shown that they care for the well-being of all Latino families,” Sanchez concluded.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.