Fifty-nine percent of Latino voters surveyed in Nevada say they would vote for a Democratic presidential candidate if they had to cast a ballot today, while 22 percent said they would definitely or probably vote for President Donald Trump.
The results are part of a new survey released Wednesday by the Latino advocacy group Unidos US (formerly National Council of La Raza) and polling firm Latino Decisions. It polled 1,854 eligible Latino voters, including 315 in Nevada, using online and telephone interviews during the first two weeks of June. The state results of the poll have a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points.
Among Democrats, 50 percent say they are almost certain they will participate in the caucus in February, with another 20 percent saying they probably will get involved.
The Democratic tilt is not to say the Republican Party doesn’t have a foothold — 34 percent of Latino voters have voted for a Republican in the past. But within that group, half say they think the GOP is good as it is and can count on their vote, while the other half says it’s hard to support the party now but they might change if the party treated Latinos with respect.
Jobs and economy were the most common issue that Latinos voters labeled as their top priority (25 percent described that as their No. 1 priority). But immigration and health care were close behind; voters ranked those issues within their top three almost 50 percent of the time.
Asked about policy positions that would make a voter more likely to support a candidate, health care and education ranked highest. A full 61 percent said they were more likely to support a candidate who preserved health coverage for pre-existing conditions, and 61 percent said they were more likely to support someone who increased federal funding for education.
Issues with slightly less sway with voters included raising the minimum wage and offering free tuition at colleges.
State lawmakers discussed the findings and ways the Legislature moved toward fulfilling those priorities at a forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Democratic Assemblyman Edgar Flores noted that while the poll shows Latino voters have many of the same policy priorities as voters at large, it holds sway considering so many Nevadans — especially youth — are Latinos.
The survey, for example, showed that the poverty rate for Latinos in Nevada in 2017 was 13.4 percent, compared with 9.1 percent for the population overall. The homeownership rate among Nevada Latinos is 45.9 percent, compared with 56.6 percent among Nevadans as a whole.
Trends among Latinos say a lot about the future of the state overall. Latinos make up about 28 percent of the state’s population, although they make up about 16.4 percent of the electorate because many are too young or otherwise ineligible to vote.
“Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by all means,” Flores said. “So, when we talk about we are very interested in education, or healthcare, or affordable housing, or immigration, what we’re saying is how this is disproportionately impacting Latino or Latina communities.”