Latino Voters Demonstrate Less Enthusiasm for 2020 Election

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New VPC/CVI-Voto Latino Poll: Latino Voters in Battleground States Demonstrate Less Enthusiasm for 2020 Election, Low Levels of Information on Voting by Mail

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Opinions Of Latino Voters In Key 2020 States

Washington, DC, July 10, 2020 — The nonpartisan and nonprofit Voter Participation Center (VPC), together with the Center for Voter Information (CVI) and Voto Latino, today released a new report assessing election-year opinions of Latino voters in six key 2020 states -- Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas -- as their communities are severely impacted by the pandemic.

Less than 60 percent of Latino voters say they definitely plan to cast a ballot in 2020, and demonstrate low enthusiasm about the candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden, according to the survey. Biden is underperforming among Latinos, the VPC/CVI-Voto Latino survey shows. The former vice president enjoys a respectable, but not overwhelming, 25-point net positive approval rating among Latinos (57 percent approve, 32 percent disapprove), leaving much room for growth. In February, Biden held 67 percent support among Latinos, down seven points today. By comparison, in early summer 2016, Hillary Clinton enjoyed 73 percent support among Latinos.

There is a false perception shared broadly among political elites that Trump’s hostility toward Latinos is enough to motivate Latino turnout. The VPC/CVI-Voto Latino survey makes clear that -- due to low confidence in voting-by-mail and low anticipated participation in mail-based voting -- an awareness campaign on the safety and security of voting-by-mail will be essential in maximizing Latino voter turnout in 2020.

An Analysis Of A Critical Voting Bloc

The survey -- produced for VPC/CVI and Voto Latino by Latino Decisions -- offers a detailed analysis of a critical voting bloc that will help decide the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Toplines include:

  • Latinos - especially younger Latinos - are less motivated to vote in 2020
    • 59% of Latinos said they definitely plan to vote
    • 46% of Latinos under 30 intend to vote
  • Health care and racial justice present important opportunities to mobilize the Latino electorate
    • 73% of Latinos say the cost of healthcare is the most important, or one of the top reasons, to vote
    • 69% say racial justice is an important issue or one of their top issues
  • Political outreach continues to lag among already disconnected Latinos
    • 53% of self-identified Republicans were contacted by someone in their party, compared to 43% of Democrats
    • 59% of Trump supporters, but only 41% of Biden backers, report being contacted by a political party, campaign or organization so far in 2020
  • Latinos’ experience and familiarity with vote-by-mail is limited
    • 42% of Latinos surveyed say they have voted using an absentee ballot or vote-by-mail to cast a ballot and confidence is mixed
    • 30% say they are very confident vote-by-mail ballots are delivered and counted. An equal 30% are not that confident, and the remaining 40% say they are “somewhat” confident
    • When asked if they had the option to vote in-person or by mail, Latinos are split with 51% saying they would vote in-person and 49% saying they would vote by mail

The Role Of Young People And Unmarried Women

“Latino voters, African American voters, young people and unmarried women will play a decisive role in electing our next president and all candidates up and down the ballot. As the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact Latino communities and other communities of color, election officials are not doing enough to expand the ability to vote safely and in a way that protects the health of individuals and their families,” said Page Gardner, founder and board chair of VPC. “We know voting by mail is a safe, secure and effective way to participate in elections. Our new survey makes clear that our country has much more work to do to ensure Latino voters have the necessary information and resources available to feel comfortable taking advantage of safe vote-by-mail options. Partisan misinformation on vote by mail is a part of a bigger effort at large-scale voter suppression. Candidates from both parties would be foolish to not focus on these voters and speak to the very real challenges they face.”

“We have our work cut out for us," said María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “This data is frankly quite sobering and shows that we are not where I was hoping we’d be by this point in the cycle. Forty-three percent of Latinx youth are reporting very soft support of Joe Biden - this is concerning because of the outside influence young Latinx play in their families to encourage the vote as a whole. Serious investment to communicate to our community now is paramount. This coupled with their real concerns of vote-by-mail will hurt participation In the 2020 election, we can't take a vote for granted. With close to 100 days until the election there is time to correct the course but it must happen now."

“The protests that erupted in Minneapolis and the outrage over the recent killing of Andres Guardado in Los Angeles with five gunshots to his back, have touched Latinos across the country,” said Alberto Morales, Senior Political Director at Latino Decisions. “This election presents an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen the coalition between the Black community and Latinos that will help change the direction of the country this coming November.”

The 1,200-person survey includes 200 Latino eligible voters from each of the six 2020 president battleground states that contain Latino populations significant enough to swing a statewide election: Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. This is the first survey of 2020 to include robust samples of Latinos in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The survey was conducted online between June 7 and June 19, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%. State samples contain approximately 200 respondents from each state and have a margin of error of +/-6.9%.

The Center for Voter Information (CVI) is a non-profit and non-partisan civic engagement organization dedicated to providing voters with the impartial information they need to make an informed decision and cast their ballot. Please visit: