Jobs, Healthcare Key for Latino Voters


A new USA Today/Gallup poll of Latino voters reveals that jobs and healthcare are more important issues than immigration policies.  The poll of 1753 Latinos conducted from April 16 to May 31 showed that 21% of registered Latino voters named Healthcare is their most important issue, followed by unemployment (19%).  Immigration issues ranked third among Latino voters at 12%.
The numbers for registered Latino voters differed slightly compared to all Latinos in the sample.  For the entire Latino sample, healthcare, unemployment and immigration issues tied as important issues at 20% apiece.  Registered Latino voters also ranked “the gap between the rich and poor” as a more important issue (16%) than the sample of Latinos as a whole (11%).  The issue of the income gap could be a key among Latino voters in the fall.  Of those Latino voters who ranked the income gap as the most important issue, 86% said they would vote for President Barack Obama while a mere 11% chose Mitt Romney.
The results of this poll differed from a similar USA Today/Gallup poll conducted June 13-14.  In that poll, while healthcare ranked the same in terms of importance among all U.S. adults (20%), economic growth was second (20%) and the federal budget deficit number three (18%).  For Latinos overall, economic growth was fourth at 17% and the deficit sixth at 7%.  In terms of voters, the federal budget deficit was the number one issue at 21%, followed by healthcare and economic growth at 20%.  Immigration policies ranked sixth at 5%.
For Latinos, the importance of immigration policies depended on nativity and immigrant status.  Sixteen percent Latinos born outside the U.S. ranked immigration policies at the most important issue.  For those who had at least one parent born outside the U.S., 14% ranked immigration issues as the most important issue.  For Latinos who were born in the U.S. and whose parents were born in the U.S., only 7% ranked immigration policies as the most important issue.  For all these groups, however, healthcare and unemployment were more important issues than immigration.