We commend Univision News for the restraint it has shown in waiting this long to come out with the first national, bipartisan poll of Hispanic voters. The survey was conducted jointly by a group that consults for Democrats and one that consults for Republicans, hence bipartisan.
It comes at an opportune moment, when the concerns and opinions of Hispanic voters have been pushed front and center because of Donald Trump‘s comments on immigration (which offended 79 percent of survey participants). The long fallout from his comments, which started with Univision ending its partnership with Trump, shows the growing force of Hispanic opinions on the 2016 elections and beyond.
Here are those opinions:
Hillary Clinton is the favored candidate. If the election were held today, 64 percent of Hispanic voters would go for Clinton, compared to 27 percent for Jeb Bush, the next highest vote-getter. Even in Bush’s home state of Florida, Clinton leads Bush, though by a much narrower 49 to 44 percent.
Among Democrats, Clinton leads the field by 73 percent and Bernie Sanders comes second with a tiny 3 percent. This is likely owed to a lack of recognition: 68 percent of participants either do not know Sanders or do not yet have an opinion about the candidate. Clinton enjoys a favorability rating of 68 percent.
While survey participants overwhelmingly disapproved of Trump’s statements on Mexican immigrants and 74 percent approved of the decision of corporations to cut ties with Trump, immigration did not make the top three of most important campaign issues for survey participants. Those were job creation/the economy, education and healthcare. Immigration was fourth.
And in a lesson about not pandering to or making assumptions about the concerns of large, diverse groups of people, U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Cuba does not loom large in the imaginations of survey participants. Forty-six percent said candidates’ voicing of support for the normalization of relations with Cuba would not impact their vote, compared to 34 percent who would rather vote for a candidate who supports the policy and 14 percent who prefer a candidate opposed to the policy.
And while the ability to speak Spanish may score brownie points, it won’t score many votes. Sixty-eight percent of participants said the ability of a candidate to speak fluent Spanish won’t have an influence on their vote.