Election 2020

Up to 3.5 Million More Latino Voters This Year Than 2012, Pollsters Find

Carlos Zamora shows a voter registration card from a pile placed on the counter of the Tierra Caliente taco truck on Sept. 29, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)

A polling firm says historic turnout of Latinos to the polls this election will amount to somewhere between an extra 1.9 million and 3.5 million Hispanic voters casting a ballot as compared to 2012 numbers.

The latest NALEO Educational Fund/Noticias Telemundo/Latino Decisions tracking poll found just 3 percent of Hispanics saying they definitely will not vote this year.

The top issues with Latino voters are job creation, improving wages and passing comprehensive immigration reform. Seventy-eight percent hold a favorable view of President Obama

On the presidential contenders, 68 percent of Latino registered voters surveyed had a favorable view of Hillary Clinton, while 17 percent had a favorable view of Donald Trump. Counting voters who were certain of their choice, who might change their pick, or who considered themselves undecided yet were leaning toward a certain candidate, 74 percent were in the Clinton camp and 14 percent aligned with Trump.

Forty-nine percent said they were more enthusiastic about voting in 2016 than four years ago, while 22 percent said there was no change.

On the congressional level, 62 percent had a favorable view of Democrats on Capitol Hill while 23 percent felt that way about Republicans in Congress. Eighteen percent planned to vote for GOP congressional candidates, while 70 percent plant to vote for Dems.

While Trump generally scores well on questions of the economy, only 16 percent of Latinos surveyed trusted Trump and the GOP to do a better job than Dems on improving economic conditions. Seventy-six percent said Clinton “truly cares” about the Hispanic community, while 19 percent felt that way about Trump.

Ninety-five percent said candidate positions on immigration were extremely, very or somewhat important to their vote.

Forty-four percent said they’d received some sort of contact from a campaign, party or political group in get-out-the-vote efforts this season. Eighty-two percent said it’s very important that the Latino community vote this year. Twenty percent said they’d already taken advantage of early voting.

Justin Gross, chief statistician for Latino Decisions, said between 13.1 million and 14.7 million Latinos will vote in 2016, compared to the 11.2 million who voted in 2012.

Latino Decisions projects that 79 percent of Latinos will vote for Clinton and 18 percent for Trump. Obama’s estimated Latino vote share in 2012 was 75 percent.

“Over the past seven weeks, the Latino Decisions weekly tracking poll has demonstrated heightened enthusiasm for voting in 2016 and record-high levels of support for Hillary Clinton. Each week, the released poll has captured a rolling cross-section of 500 bilingual interviews conducted nationwide with Latino registered voters and has found little fluctuation either with respect to likely turnout or the proportion of the Latino electorate anticipated to vote for each presidential candidate,” Gross wrote. “From a statistical modeling perspective, this stability is good and suggests more confidence in our model estimates for Election Day.”

The rise in Latino voters this year is due to a greater Hispanic population and successful voter registration efforts. Final totals on Election Day, Gross added, will determine whether the “Democratic Party may not have sufficiently taken advantage of a golden opportunity to mobilize eligible Latino voters.”