NCLR’s Community Influencers Identify the Most Important Issues for the Latino Community and Reflect on how the Republican and Democratic parties respond to the Latino Community
This week NCLR affiliates from across the country came together for the Latino Voter Summit to discuss the most important issues in their communities. Latino Decisions conducted a real-time poll during the summit to capture the perspective of these community influencers (n=175) who are doing the ground work in their communities by registering new Latino voters, helping educate the community on the issues and helping Latinos get out to vote. For many Latinos, these community influencers are the people they seek when they have questions about politics, specific policies and the issues that directly impact them. [Full slide deck of results here]
We found NCLR’s community influencers reflect the priorities of Latinos nationwide. In a battleground poll of Latinos with impreMedia, voters registered nearly the same set of top four issues as the NCLR community influencers. From a list of 12 options, they reported the most important issues facing the Latino community are:
- Immigration reform (71%),
- Education/college (51%),
- Jobs & the economy (21%)
- Health care (13%)
However, only 28% report that policy makers in DC are taking the Latino community perspective into account when they pass laws and debate the issues. Similarly, only 29% feel that the English language media takes the Latino community perspective into account when they report on the issues. They stated that this can be discouraging to a community that often feels ignored despite their growing numbers. As community mobilizers and influencers they talked about changing these dynamics by engaging more Latinos in the political process and educating them, not only on the importance of voting but also holding their elected officials accountable to the needs of the community. When asked about five specific policies which are currently being debated, there was overwhelming support for the expansion of Medicaid, passing comprehensive immigration reform, raising the federal minimum wage, passing legislation to increase clean energy and for increasing financial aid for college students even if it requires tax increases.
Most do not feel that either political party Truly Cares about the Latino community. About half (51%) believe that the Democratic party takes the Latino voters for granted and feel that the Republican party is sometimes hostile towards Latinos (56%).
Note: This poll was conducted by Latino Decisions during the NCLR Latino Voter Summit and was sponsored by Telemundo. The poll was administered via smartphone and web to participants during the March 9, 2016 Latino Voter Summit hosted by NCLR.