This week on POTUS 2016, a half-hour weekly program on CUNY TV, host Brian Lehrer and guests discuss “The Latino Vote” and the issues that will be driving Latino voters to the polls in November. Joining Lehrer are guests Raul Reyes, attorney and political commentator, and Julio Ricardo Varela, political editor with the Futuro Media Group and regular In The Thick commentator.
A Gallup poll released Monday showing how this country is feeling about the 2016 presidential elections noted that Latinos born in the United States expressed more concern towards the stakes than Latinos born outside of the United States.
According to Gallup’s findings:
Sixty-nine percent of native-born Hispanics strongly agree that this year’s election stakes are higher than usual, compared with 31% of Hispanic immigrants. Forty-five percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. strongly agree they are afraid of what will happen if their candidate for president does not win, compared with 30% of Hispanic immigrants.
The Gallup poll of 3,270 adults included a sample of 906 Latinos. Of those 906 Latinos interviewed, 271 of the interviews were in Spanish. Gallup listed the margin of error for the Latino sample at +/- 6 percent, with a confidence level of 95%.
Gallup also said that 87% of U.S.-born Latinos were registered to vote but when it came to foreign-born Latino immigrants, “28% say they are registered, and another 27% plan to register before the election.”
The poll added that only 38% of Latinos (U.S.-born and foreign-born combined) believe “stakes in this presidential election are higher than in previous years” and that 50% of Latinos think “the stakes in this presidential election are higher than in previous years.”
It also concluded that “Hispanics are less likely than either whites or blacks to ‘strongly agree’ that they are afraid of what will happen if their candidate loses.”
A new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released the Sunday before the start of the Republican National Convention has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 76%-14% with registered Latino voters.
The poll sampled 300 registered Latino voters and has a +/- 5.66 margin of error, but when compared to other national polls of Latino voters, these latest numbers are consistent with other findings. For example, last week’s Univision poll has Clinton with a 67%-19% lead over Trump (Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 4% respectively). A Pew poll from July 7 has Clinton at 66% and Trump at 24%. The July 5 tracking poll from Florida International University/Adsmovil shows Clinton with a 80%-13% advantage.
If these current poll numbers were to hold for the general election, Trump will have earned the lowest support from Latino voters since 1980. In 1996, according to Pew, Republican Bob Dole got 21% of the Latino vote.
The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll also said that Trump’s unfavorability rating with Latino voters is at 82 percent. Clinton’s unfavorables were at 25%.
According to a report issued by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York’s Center for Latino American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS), the southwestern states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico account for 25% of all Latinos living in the United States, as well as 25% of all eligible Latino voters as of 2014. However, the report shows low voter registration and participation rates.
For example, here are Texas’ Latino voting patterns from 1996 – 2016:
Key findings in the Southwestern states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico include the following:
- A high percentage of potential Latino voters in Texas Latinos of Mexican-origin and were born in the U.S., thus eligible to vote. However, because of low registration and turnout rates, these voters are not exercising their potential political influence. CLACLS projects that Latinos will comprise 24 percent of all Texas voters in November 2016. This increase is due to demographic growth, not increased participation rates.
- Similar to Texas, Latinos of Mexican origin are a large percentage of eligible Latino voters. Arizona Latinos had very low voter registration rates at about 52 percent of all eligible Latino voters in 2008 and 2012. This is not expected to change in 2016. Because of these low registration rates, only 37% of eligible Latino voters actually voted in Arizona in 2008 and 40% in 2012. CLACLS projects that about 41% will vote in November 2016.
- Latinos in New Mexico both registered and voted at rates that were significantly above national averages.
You can read the entire report here:
For more information about this report, visit the CLACLS Latino Data Project.
The latest New Latino Voice online tracking poll conducted by Florida International University and Hispanic advertising company Adsmovil reported that security is the most important 2016 election issue among Latino voters, the first time this issue topped the survey since the NLV tracking poll launched in April.
FIU professor Eduardo A. Gamarra, one of the poll’s co-authors, attributed this latest finding to the June 12 shooting in Orlando.
“Most likely this is a result of the tragedy in Orlando that directly affected the Latino community,” Gamarra told Latino USA.
The poll also tracked Latino voter preferences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. According to the latest results, Clinton leads Trump with Latino voters by a margin of 58 points (75-17). About eight percent of voters chose Other. (Click here for previous stories about the NLV poll.)
The June 13-19 survey asked 9,844 online Latinos the question about presidential preference and 4,815 online Latinos the question about the election’s most important issue. According to poll organizers, 200,000 Latinos have responded to the NLV poll since it was launched in April.
The latest toplines are below:
The phrase “lies, damned lies, and statistics” explains the fallibility of statistics, especially when they’re used to strengthen a weak claim. Statistics may seem like a foolproof science, but you should think twice before you accept a number at face value. And in this presidential election, there have been a lot of poll numbers thrown our way.
One particular poll result that grabbed people’s attention came from the Nevada caucus’ entrance polls, where Donald Trump won 44% of the vote from Latino Republican caucus-goers. But mainstream news outlets, the general public and Trump himself took that number and claimed that the presumptive GOP nominee had therefore “won the Latino vote” when in fact he won the vote of those Latino Republicans in Nevada who attended the caucus. And that group is not representative of all Nevada Latinos.
So why were some people so quick to apply this poll result to all Latinos? A lot of the confusion comes from the fact that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to numbers. In this segment, we take a look at what exactly goes into polling, how interpreting the numbers tend to go wrong and the future of this inexact science.
Major funding for Latino USA‘s election coverage provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
Featured image: Donald Trump February 2016 election night rally in New Hampshire. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
The latest online tracking poll of Latino voters by Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs and mobile Hispanic advertising company Adsmovil continues to show Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead over Donald Trump. In the June 2-5 survey (see previous results here), Clinton won the support of 75% of participants, with Trump getting 17% and 8% choosing Other.
The FIU/Adsmovil poll has been asking respondents the same question since April. Since then, both Clinton’s and Trump’s support has increased, with Other decreasing significantly.
This latest survey sampled 3,338 online Latinos. When asked about the poll’s methodology last month, FIU professor Eduardo Gamarra told Latino USA, “We are increasingly confident of the data, given its consistency week after week. We now have polled over 200,00 Latinos in a seven-week period and the results are consistent daily and weekly.”
Other highlights from the survey include:
- Men: Clinton 75%, Trump 19%, Other 6%
- Women: Clinton 74%, Trump 14%, Other 12%
- Among 18-24-year-old Latinos, Trump’s support is at 27%. It is 26% with Latinos over 65.
- 23% of Latinos think immigration is the most important issue this election season, with 22% think it is the economy.
You can read the full results below:
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) predicted this week that 94 percent of California’s 4.1 million registered Latino voters will participate in the November 2016 election. According to NALEO’s latest state profile of Latino voters, it estimated that over 3,839,000 California Latino voters will go to the polls. If that number holds, according to NALEO, it would “mark a 22 percent increase in Latino turnout in the state from Election 2012, and a 12 percent increase in the Latino share of the vote in the state from Election 2012.”
Other highlights from the NALEO profile include the following:
- Latinos account for nearly one of every four registered voters in California. There are 17,075,641 registered voters in California.
- 54% of California’s Latino registered voters identify as Democrats, 29% are unaffiliated and 17% identify as Republican.
For the complete report, see below.
According to the Pew Research Center, there were 53.3 million Hispanics in the United States in 2014, comprising 17.1% of the total U.S. population. Given their numbers, Hispanics are on the rise, but it is troubling that research indicates a low level of civic engagement for Hispanics across the nation.
Hispanics are less likely to be civically involved in their community than any other minority group, although they are the biggest and fastest growing minority in the United States. However, the case of Hispanic mainstream presence in the economy certainly points toward optimism about Hispanic participation if they become more fully incorporated into the political life in the United States.
Hispanic Civic Engagement
Civic engagement can be understood as involvement in social and political activities that influence multiple levels of policy. It is the people’s connection to the life of their community and represents an active voice of participation in government while serving as an instrument of change in a democracy. Civic engagement is fundamental for public service delivery, as well as to matching tangible outcomes to the will of the people.
Civic engagement integrates multiple components of communities in order to adequately connect with decision makers. Some of these components might be community groups, schools, trade and labor unions, sports teams, civic groups, government agencies, businesses and a wide array of organizations, namely religious, workplace, philanthropic, recreational and social service. The outcome of greater participation is increased connection to public officials, and thus more representative public policy and public goods. However, when particular communities are excluded from the policy-making process and have limited political representation, decisions may be biased toward the majority and lead to unjust policy for the unrepresented minority.
In the case of the Hispanic community, exclusion from the decision-making process is linked to issues of acculturation, discrimination, anti-immigrant sentiment, collectivism, and corruption in their home countries. However, Hispanics would be more interested if the debate revolves around issues what they care about: education reform, affordable health care, housing, personal development and polices that gives them economic mobility.
There is a held misconception about the “Hispanic Threat”, which characterizes Hispanic immigrants as being too tied up to their countries, being too festive and failing to integrate into the U.S. society. The collectivist values or group orientation permeates Hispanic life. But Hispanic values go well beyond traditional conceptions. The practices and values that they bring conjointly include:
- Idealization of the family as the nuclear structure that needs unfailing attention and support.
- Interest on transcending in the American life.
- A desire to mitigate sentiments of failure to meet the American culture, especially its consumerism.
- Interest in setting up job and protection networks.
- Acknowledgement and pride of their cultural heritage.
- They have strong religious beliefs and family values.
All these beliefs are reflected in their self-expression and civic involvement. Hispanics have become more engaged in the civic life as they move along to the path of citizenship. The years of schooling and language acculturation are significant predictions for civic engagement among first and second generations.
Several factors undermine Hispanics’ willingness and participation on civic issues:
- Language: The technical language required to practice law and politics in the United States keeps Hispanic citizens from realizing full and equal participation in the political process. (According to Gallup, only 1 of 4 Americans can hold a conversation in a 2nd language).
- Legal Status: The lack of legal status influences the low participation rates among Hispanics. Even when Hispanics have obtained legal status, the fear of being culturally intrusive in the process, detains participation in the electoral process.
- Financial Status: Many Hispanics don’t have the time to vote or participate in the political process due to demanding job schedules and lack of financial stability. It is well-documented that low income and minority groups have pressures of working to help their families with additional income.
- Transportation: Hispanics who work in the farming industry live in rural communities and lack efficient public transportation to town halls, election polls or political rallies.
- Unfamiliarity: Hispanics who have just obtained legal status are not familiar with the American political process. Moreover, second- and third- generation Hispanics who grew up in households where voting or the civic life was not encouraged tend to ignore the political process due to the unfamiliarity with the American political process.
- Fear of the System: A representative number of Hispanics may have a family relative or someone they know who has been deported or imprisoned for a minor offense. Instead of taking initiative against the political corruption, and voting or rallying in favor of an issue affecting their communities, Hispanics do not engage in order to be less exposed, which they think would protect their family and legal status.
- Little Influence on Media and the Public Agenda: Despite the increased number of people fluent in Spanish, available media and information on civic engagement is controlled by few stakeholders. Moreover, the big media conglomerates and don’t have the ability to allocate an issue in the center of the national conversation.
- Voter ID Laws: These laws affect the voting turnout of minorities, and particularly that of Hispanics. A Government Accountability Office report found that it costs between $5 and $58.50 to get an ID in states that require it.
- Bring Politics to Hispanic Communities: Political parties need to do a better job at engaging Hispanic communities. They need to recruit talented Hispanic organizers to energize the Hispanic vote. This organization should appeal to their values, needs, and potential contributions.
- Recruit and Nominate Hispanic Candidates: Political parties and strategists need to recruit competitive Hispanic candidates that could mobilize communities and create a sense of urgency around issues affecting the Hispanic population.
- LEP Outreach (Limited English Proficiency outreach): Nonprofit organizations, political parties, and government organizations need to facilitate the process and make sure all staff are well-trained, Spanish -speaking and culturally competent.
- Consistency: Organizations need to follow-up and be consistent with the messaging that will mobilize Hispanics during elections and after elections. Only through strategic messaging and genuine care, Hispanics will respond by registering, voting, and participating in the civic life.
- Better Infrastructure and Transportation: Local governments should take initiative in reaching out to communities that are disenfranchised from the political process. By studying electoral data, cities could potentially build better transportation and infrastructure platforms to reach those communities that don’t vote.
There are some enablers of Hispanic civic engagement, which shall be enhanced so that the Hispanic community is closer to its full civic potential:
As stated above, there is a wide gap between the Hispanic population’s current weight on the civic system and its full potential. However, the U.S. is also benefitting from Hispanic values and collective activities. Nobody believes the path will be an easy one, but we can be sure that the way that leads to the highest potential is to recruit a new generation of civic leaders of diverse backgrounds, who work on what binds us together rather than what drives us apart.
A new April online mobile survey of more than 8,000 U.S. Latinos conducted in Spanish by Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs and mobile Hispanic advertising company Adsmovil reported that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a commanding 50-point lead over Republican candidate Donald Trump. According to the survey, which ran from April 11-15, 62% of Latinos chose Clinton, with only 12% choosing Trump and 26% preferring another candidate.
The survey also broke down the data based on gender, age and educational levels. Despite Clinton’s overall popularity with Latinos, the candidate’s numbers barely beat out “Other” with younger Latino voters.
This week, Latino USA explored some of the reasons why this Latino generation gap exists.
Nonetheless, all the findings in this latest online mobile survey indicate that Clinton’s Latino support over Trump is strong.
When survey organizers ran a similar survey from April 18–22 and got a response from 7,714 Latino voters, Clinton’s support went from 63% to 65%. Trump stayed at about 12%, while “Other” dipped to 23%.
In March, Latino USA spoke with FIU Professor Eduardo A. Gamarra about these online mobile surveys and their methodology. At the time, Gamarra was sharing the results of a online survey that had asked about 9,000 Latino voters in Spanish their preference in a head-to-head election between Clinton and Trump. That poll showed Clinton with a 60-point lead, although respondents were only given two choices, unlike the three choices of the April survey. Here is what Gamarra said then about that March poll and its findings:
“What we found about our survey is that results actually paralleled the results’ average of all other polls,” Gamarra said.
Gamarra also noted that even though the FIU survey is not a “probabilistic poll” like Gallup, this new type of survey does add value informing the Latino community, especially since the number of polling organizations that focus on the Latino electorate is very small.
“Probabilistic polls assume that every Latino in the United States would have an equal chance of being polled. This is simply not the case here with this survey,” Gamarra said. “We knew that going in that this was not probabilistic. Probabilistic polls are very difficult to make these days because of the constraints around land lines and other factors.”
“What we are saying is that we have a database that belongs to Adsmovil, which we are polling,” Gamarra continued. “Everyone in that database has an equal chance of being polled. But we are not claiming to speak for all Latinos. We are not in that range. But what we are saying, and this is the important part—because we are getting such large numbers, about 10,000 responses, we are compensating for the fact that this survey is non-probabilistic by getting the huge numbers that we are getting.”
Having such numbers, Gamarra explained, gave his group’s efforts “confidence in the results” of the survey.
Adsmovil shared the following toplines of the April with Latino USA. The survey also asked participants what where the most important issues facing Latinos in the U.S. right now. According to the results, immigration and the economy topped the list.