THE LATINO VOTE
BENDIXEN & AMANDI INTERNATIONAL
AND THE TARRANCE GROUP
By Daniel Morcate
The first public opinion poll for the 2016 presidential campaign, conducted among Hispanic voters in an exclusive by Noticias Univisión, reveals that aspiring Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is comfortably ahead of her main Republican rivals within this important voter constituency. If the presidential election were to take place at this moment, Clinton would obtain 64% of the Hispanic votes and her closest Republican rival, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, would receive 27% according to a bipartisan survey conducted by Bendixen & Amandi, consultants for the Democrats, and The Tarrance Group, consultants for the Republicans. The former Secretary of State and former First Lady would surpass the other Republican contenders by even wider margins.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush, whom would you vote for? (Swing states)
Clinton also enjoys a significant lead in the contention for the nomination of her own Democratic Party. Of the Hispanic voters interviewed, 73% state that they would vote for her, while none of her Democratic rivals approaches showing double digits. Of those interviewed, 68% have a favorable opinion of the former Secretary of State, 26% have an unfavorable opinion, and only 6% do not know her or have not formed an opinion about her, according to Univision’s exclusive survey. In contrast, 68% do not know or have not formed an opinion about Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s nearest opponent in the battle for the Democratic nomination, and 74 per cent do not know or have no opinion about former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, another important Democratic rival for Clinton. Joe Biden, who has not yet declared his candidacy, receives a favorable opinion from 50% of Hispanic voters. But even he has problems among this voter constituency. Despite having been Vice President of the United States for well over six years, 24% of Hispanic voters do not know who he is or have not yet formed an opinion about him.
If the 2016 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in your state were held today and the candidates were the ones below, whom would you support? (Only democrats)
Univision’s exclusive interview reveals that Hispanic voters overwhelmingly reject Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants and give him bad grades as a presidential candidate. 79 % of respondents consider Trump’s comments offensive. Only 18 % don’t consider them that way. As a result, 71 % have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, only 17 % have a favorable opinion, and 12 % have no opinion of him. If the Republican primaries and caucuses were held today, Trump would receive just 7 % of Hispanic Republicans’ votes, way less than Jeb Bush’s 38 % , Marco Rubio’s 22 % , and Ted Cruz’s 12 %. And if presidential elections were held now, Hillary Clinton would easily beat Trump among Hispanic voters. She would get 70 % of their votes and Trump 16 %.
Do you find Donald Trump’s comments offensive?
A solid majority of Hispanic voters approve the decision made by Univision, NBC, Macy’s, and other entities to break business ties with Trump over his comments about Mexican immigrants. 74 % of respondents agree with that decision and only 19 % disagree. However, a clear majority of Hispanic voters recognize the difference between Trump and the Republican Party in this controversy. 61 % say that Trump’s derogatory comments represent only his own views whereas 14 % say they also represent the views of the Republican Party.
Do you agree or disagree with the decision by corporations who have decided to end their business relationships with Donald Trump?
Univision’s bipartisan survey suggests problems and opportunities for the aspiring Republican candidates. One problem is that barely 16% of the voters interviewed identify themselves as being Republicans while 58% say they are Democrats. Another problem is that only 36% have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party while 52% are favorable toward the Democratic Party. But Univision’s survey allows one to infer that many Hispanic voters are receptive to ideas from the aspiring Republicans. For example, 32% proclaim themselves to be conservative; while 35% consider themselves to be moderates and barely 28% see themselves as liberals. Furthermore, one out of every four interviewees is an independent. This suggests that Republicans as well as Democrats are still faced with the important task of persuading the Hispanic electorate during the current presidential campaign.
When thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be…
Do you consider yourself a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent?
Hispanic voters give President Barack Obama a higher score than does the average voter in the United States. Other national public opinion polls place Obama’s popularity at around 50% among all voters. But in the new survey by Univision, 64% of the Hispanic voters have a favorable opinion of the President, 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion, and only 5 percent has not yet formed an opinion. Furthermore, 59% feel satisfied with Obama’s performance after six years of being president; 40 percent feel dissatisfied and barely one percent do not know what opinion to give in this respect. These favorable percentages suggest that the aspiring Democrat who wins the presidential nomination will not have to hide Obama as he or she campaigns among the nation’s Hispanics.
Opinion of Barack Obama
When the time comes to seek out Hispanic voters, aspiring presidential candidates will be faced with a complex electorate that will have diverse important matters in mind at the moment they vote. Univision’s exclusive survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of voters consider the more important campaign topics to be the job creation and the state of the nation’s economy, education, healthcare, and immigration, in that order. Of respondents, 54 percent are inclined to vote for a presidential candidate who favors a path toward citizenship or legal status for undocumented immigrants, while barely 15% would vote for a candidate who is opposed to legalizing the undocumented.
Which one of the following issues will be the MOST important in deciding your vote for President in November 2016?
Univision’s bipartisan survey offers surprises that may prove to be significant during the presidential contention. One is that 68% of the Hispanic voters interviewed say that the fact that the candidate might speak Spanish fluently will not influence their vote, while barely 26% say that it would. This may come as a sign of relief to aspiring candidates who do not speak Spanish. Nevertheless, the use of Spanish will be useful for attracting the vote of Hispanics who have a greater command of Spanish than of English. Four out of every 10 prefer candidates who are able to speak to them in Spanish.
If a Presidential candidate were able to speak Spanish fluently would you be more likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them or has no impact on your vote? (By language)
Another conclusion that will surprise some is that many voters do not consider the topic of the newly established relations between the United States and Cuba to be important. Of respondents, 46% percent say that if a candidate were to support President Obama’s new policy of normalizing relations with Havana, it would have no impact on their vote, while 34% give assurances that they would rather vote for a candidate who favors the new policy and only 14 percent state the opposite. It is even more odd that 40% of Cuban-American voters would be willing to support a candidate favoring normalization of relations while only 26% would be less inclined to vote for that candidate.