Apr 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: 49% of Texas Latino voters have positive view of Democrats, poll finds

A sign for a voting place in Austin, Texas.
A sign directs people to a polling station in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Nearly half of Hispanic voters in Texas surveyed in Emerson College's new nationwide initiative on Latinos said they have a very or somewhat positive view of the Democratic Party. Only 25% said the same about the Republican Party.

Why it matters: The initiative is the latest by a polling group to gather information about the attitudes and beliefs of Latinos after decades of neglect as the number of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. rises.

Driving the news: The Emerson College Polling project, "Unlocking the Hispanic Vote," consists of a combination of focus groups and surveys to take the Latino pulse on voting, policy issues, politics and media in several states.

  • Pollsters surveyed registered voters and non-registered citizens, and held three focus groups: Hispanic voters in English, Hispanic voters in Spanish, and Hispanic non-registered citizens in English.
  • The findings released Thursday focused on Latinos in Texas. Later studies will cover Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

Between the lines: For decades, pollsters gathered limited data, or used sample sizes that were too small, to measure the attitudes and political beliefs of Hispanics.

  • That led to candidates and businesses making false assumptions about Latinos, from voting behavior to consumer choices.

What they're saying: "I think what we are seeing right now are oversimplified conclusions about a highly diverse community that has always had an independent streak," Democratic political consultant Vanessa Cárdenas told Axios when asked about whether there are more polls on Latinos than before.

  • "I believe polls can help bring more attention to the Latino community. Any effort to engage them in the political process and mobilize them is welcomed."

The intrigue: Several Texas voters in the English- and Spanish-speaking focus groups said they viewed the Democratic party as representing the middle and lower classes.

  • But several of the same people said they were better off financially under Republican leadership.

Methodology: The survey of Texas Hispanic citizens was conducted March 21-28, 2022. This poll was based on a sample consisting of 494 registered voters in Texas, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.

  • Three in-person focus groups were conducted of participants of Hispanic ethnicity in Dallas in April 2022: one of Hispanic registered voters who vote (conducted in English), a second of Hispanic non-registered citizens (conducted in English), and a third of Hispanic registered voters who vote (conducted in Spanish).

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