Oct 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrats lead GOP among Latino voters by smaller margins than past elections

A sign points the way to an early voting location

A sign points the way to an early voting location in Phoenix on Oct. 16, 2020. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 54% of Latino voters would prefer to see Democrats keep control of Congress in the upcoming midterms, while 33% would like to see Republicans take control, according to a new NBC News/Telemundo poll released Sunday.

Why it matters: Although Democrats maintain a 21-point lead, this is narrower than in past elections. The same poll saw Democrats enjoying a 42-point lead in 2012, a 34-point lead in 2018, and a 26-point lead in 2020, per NBC News.

  • Latina women, Catholic Latinos and California Latinos were more likely than Latino men, Florida Latinos and non-Catholic Latinos to prefer that Democrats retain control of Congress.

The big picture: Overall, about 51% of Latino voters surveyed said they approved of the job President Biden is doing compared to 45% who said they disapproved.

  • On issues, Biden's highest approval marks came for his handling of foreign policy (49%) and border security and immigration (42%), but he received only a 41% approval for his handling of the economy and 35% approval for the cost of living.
  • Asked to rank the most important issues facing the country, 23% said the cost of living, 20% said "threats to democracy," 17% said jobs and the economy, while 11% said immigration and the situation at the border.
  • 50% of those surveyed said Democrats would better handle the issue of abortion, compared to 23% who said Republicans.
  • About 49% said Democrats would do a better job on promoting tolerance and respect as well as addressing the concerns of the Hispanic community, compared to 22% and 23%, respectively, who felt Republicans would handle these issues better.
  • The margin was even greater when it came to climate change, with 46% preferring to see Democrats handle the topic compared to 13% who'd prefer Republicans do so.
  • However, the divide between Democratic and Republican preferences was much narrower when it came to the cost of living (37%-36%), the economy (34%-38%), and border security (33%-36%).

Methodology: This NBC News/Telemundo poll was conducted Sept. 17-26 among a sample of 1,000 Latino registered voters, 75% of whom took the survey in English and 25% who took it in Spanish. 

  • Survey respondents were contacted by landline, cellphone and text message. The margin of sampling error is ±3.1 percentage points.
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