Axios-Ipsos Latino poll: Gun violence becomes top concern
The big picture: Democrats' generic advantage over Republicans among U.S. Latino adults dropped since March, with the economy driving respondents' discontent. But the findings also suggested gun safety is an issue on which Latinos are far more aligned with Democrats.
- The political question is whether Democrats can use gun safety to make up the ground they've lost on the economy.
- Democrats' advantage fell to 12 percentage points, from 16 in our March survey,
Driving the news: The survey was conducted in mid-June, two weeks after the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the mostly Hispanic city of Uvalde, Texas.
Why it matters: The findings underscore how deeply that tragedy, on the heels of a mass shooting targeting Black shoppers in Buffalo, N.Y., shook Americans and drove pressure for Congress to act. It also shows how politically potent an issue gun safety could be with Latinos.
What they're saying: "Going into this poll, inflation and the economy was the dominant issue," said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.
- "As long as that's true, Democrats are going to continue to hemorrhage support among the Latino base."
- "Latino Americans are more aligned with Democrats on gun control policies, but will that translate into electoral support?" he said. Thus far, "it doesn't seem like it is."
What we're watching: Survey respondents gave Republicans higher marks on the economy, with 25% saying the GOP is stronger on the issue while 18% said Democrats are stronger.
- They were divided over which party is better on crime, while 53% said people in power don't take crimes against Hispanic or Latino people seriously enough and another 31% weren't sure.
Zoom in: Our survey found lower gun ownership rates among Latino respondents and overwhelming support for expanded background checks and red-flag laws. We'll share more details about those findings in today's edition of the Axios Latino newsletter.
Between the lines: Crime has put some elected Democrats on the defensive, while police reforms have been paused two years following the death of George Floyd.
- Some cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio and Albuquerque, where nearly half of more of the population is Latino, have seen surges in rates of violent crime and homicide.
- But the surge in concern around "crime or gun violence," which is how the poll has asked the question since December, correlates to the timing of mass shooting events.
By the numbers: Respondents who said gun violence/crime is among their top three issues surged from 27% in March to 44% this month.
- Inflation crept up to 39%. COVID-19 fell to 14%. About one in five put climate change, health care or immigration in their top three.
- Just 10% cited abortion, though that was before the Supreme Court ruling ending Roe v. Wade.
- 42% of survey respondents said they are certain or very likely to vote, marginally down from when we asked in December.
- 29% of the respondents — U.S. Latino adults including voters and non-voters — said they planned to vote for Democratic candidates; 17% for Republicans; and 34% said they didn't know or would support independents or third parties.
The bottom line: "We're seeing Democrats continue to hold an advantage with Latinos over Republicans, but probably not as strong as Democrats would like," Jackson said.
- If Democrats “rely on running up big margins with Black and Hispanic voters to win and are unable to do so, it's unlikely they'll be able to pick them up with white voters."
Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Latino Poll, in partnership with Noticias Telemundo, was conducted June 9-18 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,018 Hispanic/Latino adults age 18 or older.
- The margin of sampling error is ±3.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample.