A new poll released today by impreMedia and Latino Decisions reveals that the August debt deal brokered by President Obama and Republicans in Congress is out of touch with what Latino voters wanted in the debt debate. When asked which approach they prefer to reduce the deficit, 46% of Latino registered voters stated raising taxes on the wealthy, compared to only 7% who said cutting existing programs, and 37% who said a combination of both tax increases and cuts. All together, that’s 83% of Latino voters who support a deficit reduction plan that includes tax increases on the wealthy to help America balance the budget.
This support is consistent with previous attitudes of Latino voters. In the February 2011 tracking poll, Latino Decisions reported that only 27% of Latino registered voters supported extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, while 64% opposed the tax cuts for the wealthy (see Question #12). Further, the impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll back in February found that by a 2-to-1 margin, Latinos supported federal investment in projects, as opposed to tax reductions, as a way to stimulate and improve the economy.
As the Super Committee of 12 is now set they should take stock, not just of the 83% of Latino voters, but also the 68% of all Americans that Reuters/Ipsos found to be in support of increased revenues to address the deficit, in their July 25, 2011 poll. When Latino Decisions asked respondents if they thought lawmakers in Washington D.C. were taking into account the economic issues of the Hispanic community when making economic policy just 11% said yes, and 43% said no, with the remainder in the middle (see Question #15). With the first stab at the debt deal in early August, those numbers could continue to skew towards “No” considering an overwhelming majority of Latinos favored some degree of revenue increases as part of the debt deal, but the August 2nd plan only delivered cuts. Back in February, 64% of Latinos said they had more confidence in Obama and the Democrats to do the right thing in fixing the economy, compared to just 20% who backed the Republicans. Unless the Super Committee embraces a true compromise that includes a combination of revenue increases and cuts, Latino voters are likely to lose even more confidence in both parties.
Note: Full results of the August 2011 impreMedia-Latino Decisions tracking poll will be released on Thursday August 18, with a focus on Latino attitutdes towards schools and education policy, and education reform.