Democrats Maintain Edge as Party ‘More Concerned’ for Latinos, but Views Similar to 2012

After more than a year of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making provocative comments about Mexican and Muslim immigrants and Hispanics in general, a new Pew Research Center survey of Hispanics finds their overall attitudes about the Republican and Democratic parties – and levels of political engagement – are not much different than they were four years ago.
About half of Latino registered voters (54%) continue to say the Democratic Party is more concerned for Latinos than the Republican Party; just 11% say the GOP has greater concern, while 28% say there is no difference between the parties. Democrats held a similar advantage four years ago, when by 61% to 10%, more Latino voters viewed Democrats as more concerned about Latinos.
Trump’s campaign comments about Hispanics have resonated widely. Fully 75% of Hispanic registered voters say they have discussed the Republican candidate’s comments about Hispanics or other groups with family, friends or coworkers in the past year. And among Hispanic registered voters who have discussed Trump’s comments, 74% say they have given “quite a lot” of thought to the presidential election and 74% say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote.
The annual Pew Research Center National Survey of Latinos, conducted from Aug. 23 through Sept. 21, among 1,507 Latino adults, including 804 registered voters, finds that Trump trails by a sizable margin in the presidential race. About six-in-ten Latino registered voters (58%) favor Clinton, while just 19% support Trump; 10% favor Libertarian Gary Johnson while 6% back Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee.
In 2012, in a two-way contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Obama won 71% of the Latino vote, while just 27% supported Romney, according to national exit polls. That was one of the largest Democratic advantages among Latinos dating back more than two decades, according to a post-election analysis of the Hispanic vote.
Notably, Clinton’s support is lagging among Hispanic Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 in 2016), who will make up nearly half of the record 27.3 million Latinos estimated to be eligible to vote in 2016. Among Hispanic Millennials, 48% support Clinton, while 15% back Trump; about as many favor Johnson or Stein (13% each) and 11% chose another candidate or offered no opinion. Among all older Latino voters (ages 36 and older), Clinton has 66% support, Trump 21% while just 7% back Johnson and 1% support Stein.
In addition, Clinton receives less-positive backing from Latino Millennials who support her than from older Latino voters. About two-thirds (64%) of Millennial Latinos who back Clinton describe their support as more a vote against Trump than a vote for Clinton. By contrast, 65% of older Clinton supporters say their support is more of a vote for her than a vote against Trump.
A similar generation gap in positive voting is seen among Clinton’s supporters more generally. In an August Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, most Millennial voters who supported Clinton (62%) said they saw their vote more as a vote against Trump rather than for Clinton. Meanwhile, most older Clinton supporters (57%) viewed their vote more as an expression of support for Clinton.

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