Statewide Poll Of Latino Voters In Texas Brings Upcoming Elections Into Clearer Focus

A poll of 500 Hispanic Texas voters, completed on February 24th, 2008 reveals critical data regarding the concerns of the Latino community. The Latino Decisions Texas Poll is part of a larger effort to understand the Latino electorate, State by State, in those States where the Latino electorate will have a high impact on election results.

Among the findings of the Texas poll were:

  • Clinton holds a commanding lead over Obama among Latino registered voters in Texas. Clinton • was the choice of 55% of self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaners, Obama had 20% while another 20% remain undecided.
  • Both candidates, however, are viewed favorably by the entire electorate, with 76% of all respondents • viewing Clinton somewhat or very favorably, while 66% view Obama somewhat or very favorably. Both of these numbers exceed Democratic Party identification. Only 17% held unfavorable views of Clinton while 21% held unfavorable views of Obama.
  • Democratic advantage in party identification is surprisingly high for Texas, a state where GOP • inroads into Mexican-American populations, particularly by President and former Governor George W. Bush, have been widely noted. Fully 61% of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, compared to only 10% identifying as Republicans. Moreover, among those independents and non-partisans who declined to state an affiliation, the Democrats hold an almost 2-1 advantage when the respondents are asked to choose.
  • Likely GOP nominee Senator John McCain is viewed favorably by 48% of all respondents, but unfavorably by 31%.
  • In hypothetical head-to-head match-ups against Senator McCain, both Clinton and Obama do extremely well, though Senator Clinton’s advantage persists. Among all Latino voters without regard to partisanship, Clinton outpolls McCain 61% to 20% (19% undecided). Obama outpolls McCain 46% to 25% (29% undecided).
  • President Bush is viewed somewhat or very unfavorably by 55% of the respondents, and favorably by only 34%. Republicans in Congress have even less support at 28% favorability against 39% unfavorable. Democrats in Congress are viewed favorably (somewhat or very) by 59%, with only 17% viewing them unfavorably.
  • Voting Issues—when asked which issues would be most important in their presidential vote, Texas Latinos overwhelmingly identified the Economy (33%) and Health Care (29%) as the biggest factors with Immigration Reform (22%), the War in Iraq (21%) and Education (20%) rounding out the top 5. When asked about issues specifically important to Latinos, Immigration Reform jumps to the top of the agenda (37%), with jobs and the economy (30%) in second.
  • On the War, 69% report feeling that the War was “not worth fighting,” while only 23% felt the effort was worth the costs. The overwhelming policy preference was for immediate withdrawal (48%) beginning withdrawal (33%), a total of 81% of the respondents favoring a significant policy shift. Just 9% favor the current policy, while another 7% favor escalation.
  • On immigration, 31% favor amnesty for those currently in the country, while another 32% favor some form of earned legalization and a path to citizenship. This total of 63% support for either amnesty or earned legalization is notable since the sample is entirely among US citizens registered to vote. Only 26% favor a temporary guest worker program, and 6% favor declaring illegal immigrants felons and deporting them.

The researchers also drew upon data from the recently completed California and Nevada studies to understand how responses differed between the States, and what is driving those differences.