In the eve of the 2016 presidential election, we asked Latino voters in the key states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia about their environmental preferences. While much of the attention has been on immigration and the economy, like all voters in the electorate, Latino voters are paying attention to a wide variety of issues, especially the environment. In states like Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona voters say that it is very important that the new administration pass legislation to combat global warming, reduce air pollution, and focus on clean energy. Recent polling data conducted by Latino Decisions finds that over 70 percent of Latinos in key states say it is very and extremely important that the next President and Congress to take an aggressive stance on global warming or climate change.
When stratifying the sample on key demographics, we find overwhelming support across gender and generational status. And while we did find that partisanship matters on environmental policy (in that Republicans are less likely to support combating global warming than Democrats or Independents) even here there is strong majority support, with 62% saying it is at least somewhat important to address climate change. This should be a concern for the new Administration, given that President elect-Donald Trump recently announced the appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has been harsh on President Barack Obama’s measures and regulations to curb climate change and has a record of opposing many of the clean air, clean water and environmental health protections that Latinos overwhelmingly support.
When examining views towards reducing smog and air pollution we find that over 75 percent of Latinos think it is important for the new administration to reduce smog and air pollution. Looking a little closer we see that Latinos in Florida, Nevada, and Arizona to be more likely to say it is extremely important to reduce smog and air pollution. The key demographics that were more likely to say extremely important include first time voters, millennials, and first and second generation voters, groups that are all growing as a share of the electorate.
For nearly all Latino voters across these key states, there is a strong belief that the federal government should play a role in addressing global warming, reducing air pollution, and focusing on clean energy. Further, Latinos are far more likely to favor candidates who are strong supporters of investing in clean energy over ones who want to expand our dependence on fossil fuels. By any measure, polling data from Latino Decisions clearly finds Latino voters nationally and in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia states to be very strong supporters of protecting the environment.
National sample N=3,100 (MoE +/-1.8%), 7 state samples (MoE +/-4.9%) (AZ, CO, FL, NC, NV, OH, VA). Completed interviews by landline, cell and on-line with Latino registered voters in English and Spanish at respondent’s discretion; from November 4-7, 2016. Respondents are extremely-high-propensity voters screened on vote history, or newly registered, and queried self-report of intention to vote (or having already voted). Randomly drawn from representative statewide sample of Latino registered voters, and then weighted to match census demographics. More details here: www.latinodecisions.com/2016-election-eve-poll/methodology