Undercurrent

Latino voters shift attention towards crime, abortion, survey says

By: - August 30, 2022 2:50 pm
Mi Familia Vota

Mi Familia Vota registering voters in Sunset Park for Nevada’s last midterm elections in 2018. (Courtesy photo from Mi Familia Vota)

As political hopefuls in Nevada court Latino voters, a new poll shows a shift in some of the long-running priorities among the Latino electorate heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

The poll, conducted for UnidosUs by BSP Research, found that while inflation, the economy, and jobs remain top of mind for Latinos in Nevada, abortion access and crime have climbed the ranks.

For the first time, abortion was among the top five issues for Latino voters, according to UnidosUs. About 81% of Latino voters in Nevada believe abortion should remain legal, no matter what their own personal beliefs on abortion are. 

About 53% of eligible Latino voters said they would not support a candidate that supports a complete ban on abortions. However, about 27% said they would not support a candidate who supports legal abortions under any circumstances, with no restrictions.

Crime and gun violence—typically lower on the list—placed as the second highest priority for Latino voters in Nevada. The shift is likely driven by concerns about criminals’ access to guns, according to UnidosUs. 

Nearly three in four eligible Latino voters in Nevada indicated that “guns are too easy to access” when asked what elected officials should address. More than three in five eligible voters surveyed indicated that school shootings were an important crime issue elected officials needed to address.

Inflation and the rising cost of living was the number one priority for more than half of eligible Latino voters in the state. Inflation consistently ranks as top priorities across states and demographic groups, according to the UnidosUs poll.

Four in five eligible voters interviewed for the survey said food, gas, and basic living expenses “are too high” and should be addressed by elected officials.

The third highest priority for eligible Latino voters, according to the survey, centered around jobs and the economy. Three in five voters surveyed indicated that their top concern about the economy was that jobs do not pay enough, oftentimes resulting in a need to take a second job to make ends meet.

The top “deal breaker” for Latino voters in Nevada was if a candidate was supported by hate groups and white supremacists or white nationalists, according to the survey. Overall, 84% of Nevada’s Latino voters say it is personally important to them for elected officials and other leaders to speak out against white nationalism and white supremacy.

While immigration is not among the top five issues, Latino voters believe strongly that leaders in Washington should provide a path to citizenship, or in the absence of Congressional action, the president should take executive action.

In Nevada the Latino community comprises about 20% of the electorate.

Rafael Collazo, the political director for UnidosUS National, argued that candidates need to engage Latino voters early leading into the midterm elections in November.

According to the survey about 56% of eligible Latino voters in Nevada say they are “100% certain” they will vote in November, another 21% said they “probably will.”

“Unfortunately, chronic under-engagement by parties and candidates continues, with a large majority of Latino voters in the state reporting no outreach from either party. Latino voters are not apathetic, they are unconvinced and this should be a wake-up call to both parties,” Collazo said. 

The poll was conducted online by BSP Research from July 20 – August 1, 2022. It surveyed 2,540 registered Latino voters online and in live telephone interviews. The poll took oversamples of 300 voters in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas, a statistical technique used to study smaller groups.  The Nevada poll has a sampling error of +/- 5.7%.

 

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Jeniffer Solis
Jeniffer Solis

Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.

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