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.