PUBLIC POLLING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

Highlights from a Recent Poll of Florida Latinos

by Mahwish Khan on 11/29/2010

November 2010 | Click here for PDF

In November 2010, Latino Decisions conducted an election-eve poll of Latino voters in eight states, including Florida. The poll was conducted from October 28th-November 1st with 400 “extremely likely” registered voters in Florida; the margin of error is 4.2%.

Following are some of the results from the Florida poll. The full results are available here.

FLORIDA LATINOS WANT ACTION ON IMMIGRATION REFORM LIKE THE DREAM ACT

  • Florida’s Latinos are frustrated by President Obama’s handling of immigration. While respondents approved of President Obama’s overall job performance by a slim margin, with 46% approving and 43% disapproving, they disapproved of how he has handled immigration reform, 36% to 50%.
  • Latino voters in Florida overwhelmingly agree that Congress must swiftly pass the DREAM Act:
    • 72% of Latinos said it was “extremely important” or “very important” that Congress and the President act swiftly to pass the DREAM Act. (39% said it was “extremely important,” while 33% said it was “very important.”)
    • 82% of Latinos who identify as Independents called passing the DREAM Act “extremely important” or “very important.”
    • 66% of Latinos who identify as Republicans called passing the DREAM Act “extremely important” or “very important.”
    • 67% of Latinos who voted for Marco Rubio for Senate called passing the DREAM Act “extremely important” or “very important.”71% of Cuban Latinos called passing the DREAM Act “extremely important” or “very important.” (Cubans in Florida tend to be more conservative than non-Cuban Latinos; 78% of Cuban Latinos polled voted for Rubio, compared to 40% of non-Cuban Latinos.)

IMMIGRATION REFORM IS A KEY ISSUE FOR FLORIDA LATINOS

  • Immigration is a key factor in influencing the voting behavior of Latinos in Florida. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that immigration was “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in determining whether to vote and which candidates to vote for in the 2010 midterm elections.
  • Many Latinos in 2010 were motivated to vote because they feel their community is under attack. Twenty-six percent of respondents said that anti-immigrant or anti-Latino sentiment during the 2010 campaign was “the most important” reason they decided to vote in the election. A total of 66% said it was important in influencing their decision to vote. Only 6% of voters did not feel that anti-immigrant or anti-Latino sentiment had been on display.
  • Many Latinos in 2010 were motivated to vote in order to support the Latino community, rather than support a candidate. Forty-one percent of respondents said that they voted in 2010 “to support and represent the Latino community,” which is more than said that they voted to support Republican candidates (28%) or voted to support Democratic candidates (16%).
  • Jobs, immigration and the economy are, by far, the issues Florida Latinos most want politicians to address. When asked to name the two most important issues facing the Latino community that politicians should address, 41% of respondents mentioned “jobs,” and 30% mentioned immigration. Twenty-three percent mentioned “the economy.” These were by far the most popular responses.

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