Latino Vote 2016

What Latinos really think about this election

New polls find Latino electorate has strong views on the candidates, health care, and economic issues

On Oct. 27 we released the results of two new polls of Latinos’ views on the economy and health care, as well as fresh numbers on Latino voters’ views on the presidential candidates and other key election topics. As we are less than two weeks from Election Day, the findings show that Latino voters are deeply concerned about how policymakers and leaders will move the economy and health care forward.

Latinos Vote - NCLR

“In spite of the attention around the Latino vote, we haven’t seen an intentional and deep engagement with our community, particularly around issues,” said NCLR Vice President Eric Rodriguez, who moderated a telephonic briefing announcing the results. “There are 13 million Latinos projected to vote this year, but no one is really talking to our community and asking what keeps us up at night, or what our aspirations are.

“These poll results give voice to the Latino community,” Rodriguez added. “And our efforts will be to shed some light on what those results mean.”   

Conducted by Latino Decisions, the polls include respective oversamples of Latino millennials on economic issues, and oversamples in Florida, Texas, and California regarding health care questions. The panelists on the call were Sylvia Manzano, Principal, Latino Decisions; Lindsay Daniels, Associate Director, Economic Policy, NCLR; Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director, Young Invincibles; Steven Lopez, Manager, Health Policy, NCLR; and Mayra E. Alvarez, President, The Children’s Partnership. You can hear the full audio of the discussion below.

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Sylvia Manzano, Principal, Latino Decisions

The polls, conducted October 7–19, surveyed 1,000 respondents for each, with oversamples of Latino millennials, as well as voters in the key swing states of Florida, California, and Texas. The key findings were:

Latinos are an energized electorate with strong views on:

  • Candidates.
  • Policies that advance economic mobility.
  • Health care policies that expand access, coverage, and programs.
  • Clear connection between health care and personal economic circumstances.

When it comes to Latino millennials, the polls found they:

  • Aspire to homeownership, believe hard work will pay off, and have a more positive view of personal and national economic outlooks.
  • Are optimistic, but not naive; they’re concerned about Social Security, caring for parents, job security, and personal debt.
  • Mostly (63%) think they’ll be better off financially a year from now. This is compared to 36% for those 36 years and older.

- View the slide deck of results

Lindsay Daniels, Associate Director, Economic Policy, NCLR

  • Latino household wealth fell 66% from 2005 to 2009, and the recovery has been uneven for the community.
  • Although the survey shows that Latinos are fairly optimistic about the state and future of the economy, there is a high level of insecurity about both their short- and long-term financial well-being.
  • Job creation and job quality must be at the forefront of our future public policy conversation.

- View the toplines of the economic agenda survey

Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director, Young Invincibles

  • Polling conducted by Young Invincibles shows 61% of all millennials say that a candidate’s plan to combat student debt will be a major influencer in determining who they will support.
  • That number rises to 74% among Latino millennials.
  • Policies that close gaps to education affordability and attainment are vital to this constituency.
  • Addressing these unique challenges facing Latino millennials is critical to motivating them to vote on November 8.

Steven Lopez, Manager, Health Policy Project, NCLR

  • Latino voters support the Affordable Care Act. Since 2013, the overall uninsured rate for Latinos has declined from 24% to around 16% today, the biggest decrease for any ethnicity. Latino voters want leaders to build on the law’s gains and ensure that it works for more people, and not to destroy or repeal it.
  • This includes expanding Medicaid in states such as Florida so that more people are covered.
  • Latino voters support programs that invest early in the health and well-being of children. This includes funding programs such as Head Start and school-based health centers.

- View the toplines of the health policy survey

Mayra E. Alvarez, President, The Children’s Partnership

  • Improving health contributes to every single economic goal; the healthier we are, the more freedom we have to pursue our dreams.
  • The polls also show that there is work to be done to engage the Latino community in finding solutions. The electorate participates when they feel they matter.