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A breakout group discusses issues of healthcare during the Latinx Congreso event held inside the East Las Vegas Community Center on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The event focused on the outcome of the recent legislative session and its impacts on the latino community. Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent Follow @DanJClarkPhoto

The gender gap in Latino voter preferences is up to three times wider than the gap among white or black voters, with 45 percent of Nevada Latino men approving of President Donald Trump and only 20 percent of women doing the same.

But overall in Nevada, 65 percent of Latino voters favor a Democratic presidential candidate and 22 percent favor Trump.

Those are two of the findings released Wednesday by Equis Labs, a firm that is launching an ongoing research project aimed at better understanding the Latino electorate. Leaders at the firm say that even though Latinos will make up the largest minority voter-eligible population in 2020, polls with small sample sizes or that treat Hispanic voters as a monolith are mischaracterizing them.

There’s a real urgency to understand the Latinx electorate,” said Stephanie Valencia, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and co-founder of Equis Labs, which is named after the Spanish word for the letter X. “We will be the X factor.”

Equis is harnessing the work of five different polling firms, including GBAO in Nevada, and trying to strike a balance of reaching out to people on cellphones, landlines and online, as well as in English and Spanish. It seeks to get a better sense of different subgroups within the Latino community to identify new outreach opportunities and inform regionalized messaging.

The project is of particular importance to progressives, who need to maximize support among Latinos to win the 2020 election. Republicans, on the other hand, simply need to maintain a portion of those voters in their camp to win.

‘Trump does not need to win a plurality of Latinx voters, just shave enough off the margins,” the group wrote.

The inaugural survey involved 8,100 interviews with registered Hispanic voters in 11 battleground states, including Nevada, and was conducted from July 8 to July 29. That was before the El Paso mass shooting and the ICE raids at Mississippi food processing plants that have resonated in the Latino community, and before recent economic indications that a recession could be nigh.

On issues, the poll found that 45 percent of Nevada Latinos approved of the Trump’s work on the economy, while only 29 percent approved of what he’s done on health care and 28 percent approved of his immigration policies.

The survey also found that respondents were more likely to feel a duty to vote than excitement about participating in the 2020 election. Sixty-seven percent said they felt motivated to vote, while only 44 percent described themselves as excited about it.

Researchers say the gap could be attributed to Democrats not settling on a nominee yet, but they also noted that “the negative tone about Hispanics in the national discourse could potentially suppress voter enthusiasm.”

The poll also surveyed particular issues, including abortion. Researchers say a large majority of Latino voters support abortion rights, with 66 percent in Nevada agreeing and 26 percent disagreeing with a pro-choice statement.

The statement respondents were asked to agree or disagree with was: “Women’s health care decisions, including abortion, should be made privately along with her doctors, family and her own beliefs. It’s not up to politicians to make a judgment about when a woman should become a parent.”

Equis Labs Latino Voter Poll by Michelle Rindels on Scribd

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