Apr 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Poll: Biden's popularity with Latinos drops as Dems' rises

Favorability of Biden and Trump among U.S. Latinos
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. Latinos have steadily soured on President Biden while warming to former President Trump — even as they're trending toward Democrats on several key issues, according to the latest Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo.

Why it matters: The results point to a troubling gap in support for Biden: Many Latinos — a rapidly growing and crucial voting bloc, particularly in swing states Nevada and Arizona — appear to like Democrats' ideas more than they like Biden.

  • Another troubling sign: Latino support for Trump is rising despite his persistently racist rhetoric about immigrants — and as many Latinos acknowledge worrying that anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies such as Trump's vow to deport 1 million migrants could put them in danger.
  • "In almost every case, Trump performs better than the Republican brand and Biden performs worse than the Democratic brand," Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson said.

Zoom in: Biden's advantage over Trump among all Latinos has fallen from 29 points after Biden's first year in office (53-24) to just 9 points (41-32), amid frustrations over inflation and crime.

  • Biden's lead shrinks even further — to 3 points — among Latinos who said they plan to vote in November.
  • At least two-thirds of the respondents said neither Biden nor Trump should be their party's nominee.
  • The poll didn't ask specifically about independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who's seeking to get on the ballot in most states. But 11% of Latino registered and likely voters said they expect to back neither Biden nor Trump, and 28% said they weren't sure.

What we're watching: Latinos are sticking with Democrats on issues such as abortion rights and immigration, Jackson said.

  • "If anything, Democrats are actually slightly better positioned relative to Republicans versus when we'd asked this last June 2023 ... across all sorts of different issues," he added.

Among all Latinos, Democrats appear to be closing in on Republicans in two areas the GOP has largely dominated in recent polls — boosting the economy and fighting crime.

  • Republicans had a 3-point edge on which party was better dealing with the economy, compared to a 7-point edge in the 2023 survey — a sign Democrats might be getting some credit for the hot economy.
  • Republicans had a 4-point edge on which party was better in dealing with crime; a year ago it was 8 points.

Reality check: Those improvements for Democrats aren't translating to Biden, however.

  • Latinos gave Trump a 22-point edge over Biden when it comes to dealing with the economy, and an 11-point edge on fighting crime.
  • Trump is showing improvement among Latinos even though 52% of survey respondents said they worry that a mass deportation effort like what he's proposed would target all Latinos, regardless of immigration status.
  • A study published recently in the European Political Science Review suggested anti-immigrant sentiment among some Latinos could be a factor.

What they're saying: Latino Democratic leaders aren't reaching out enough to promote Biden's accomplishments, Houston-based Democratic political consultant Marc Campos tells Axios: "He helped create all these jobs. I still don't see that story being told to Latinos."

  • Alex Veras, a GOP activist in Massachusetts, said Republicans could be doing better among Latinos with more voter outreach.
  • "Trump is not going to be here forever, so this bump will be short-term," Veras said.
  • "When he's gone, Republicans are going to be in trouble."

Methodology: This Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll, in partnership with Noticias Telemundo, was conducted March 22-28, 2024, by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,012 Hispanic/Latino adults age 18 or older.

  • That includes 845 respondents who said they are registered to vote or expect to register before the election.
  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level for results based on the entire sample. It is ±4.0% percentage points for results from those registered to vote or expecting to register to vote.
  • The overall sample was split into two categories to compare handling of the economy and public safety by party, or by candidate. The margin of sampling error for those samples is ±5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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