October 27, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released the results of two national polls of Latino voters that measured their views on key economic and health care issues, as well as voter attitudes toward the presidential candidates and whether Latinos plan to vote this election. Premier Hispanic polling firm Latino Decisions conducted the polls October 7–19 and 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.
Despite an election season peppered with anti-Latino, anti-immigrant rhetoric that could have dampened Hispanic enthusiasm, 88 percent of those surveyed nationally said they were “definitely voting this election.” Favorability ratings of both major party candidates demonstrated stark differences between the two—Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holds a 68 percent total favorability rating versus 18 percent for Republican candidate Donald Trump. Seventy percent of those surveyed said they were planning on voting for Clinton, and only 17 percent indicated they would vote for Trump.
The economy and health care, two key issues for Latino voters, were covered extensively in the polls, and the surveys measured attitudes on issues such as jobs, college affordability, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and increasing access to health coverage for more people.
Overall, respondents held a positive outlook on the national economy, with 68 percent saying the economy is improving or has remained the same. At the same time, their personal finances are sometimes uncertain, with 46 percent saying it was sometimes difficult each month to make ends meet. Latino millennial voters were among the most optimistic about their personal financial situations, with 63 percent saying they think they will be financially better off a year from now, compared to only 36 percent of non-millennials. The survey respondents demonstrated strong support for creating more and better-paying jobs, with 87 percent indicating it was very important, and 23 percent saying this should be the first economic issue that a new Congress and administration address. Survey respondents also expressed support for the Social Security program—85 percent indicated that it was very important to keep the program strong (71 percent of millennials and 96 percent of non-millennials).
“While 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, including their ability to obtain better-paying jobs, afford college or technical school, access tax supports for homeownership and child care, and have a secure retirement,” said Lindsay Daniels, NCLR Associate Director of Economic Policy. “These issues resonated across the board, even with Hispanic millennials, who account for nearly half of projected Latino eligible voters. The community wants a new administration and Congress that will address their economic concerns, and we look forward to working with policymakers who understand that a more prosperous America is one that incorporates Latino priorities.”
On health care issues, Latinos demonstrated strong support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 71 percent saying it is either working well and should stay as is, or is working well and can be improved by efforts to lower out-of-pocket costs. Since the implementation of the ACA, the Latino uninsured rate has dropped from 24.3 percent in 2013 to a historic low of 16.2 percent today. With the passage of ACA, important consumer protections were put in place, including prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions; an overwhelming number of respondents to the survey—90 percent—believe it is important to ensure this provision remains in place.
In polling voters in Florida and Texas, two states where the governors have refused to expand their Medicaid programs, resulting in more than 600,000 Latinos being denied health coverage, 80 percent of Floridians and 81 percent of Texans say their respective states should expand Medicaid. Latinos polled said that Medicaid was an issue that would sway their support for a particular candidate; when asked if the support of Medicaid expansion would influence their vote, Texas Latinos responded 82 percent in the affirmative and 78 percent of Floridian Latinos agreed.
“The Affordable Care Act has put new options on the table for millions of Americans, including Latinos, and has improved the quality of coverage for millions more. Today’s results show strong support among Latino voters for building upon the gains of the ACA, including expanding Medicaid and identifying opportunities to ensure the law works for even more people. We also see strong support for investments that better position children to be healthy and succeed, via measures like Head Start and school-based health centers,” said Steven Lopez, Manager of the NCLR Health Policy Project. “The health and well-being of our country is linked to that of the Latino community and Latino voters are looking to the next administration and Congress to shape agendas that reflect Latino health policy priorities.”
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.