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Hispanic Voters favor Obama, Democrats in 2008 Election

The Pew Hispanic Research Center, the nation's most well-regarded and credible source for Hispanic population studies has just released its "2008 National Survey of Latinos" and its an interesting read. The full report can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.


KEY FINDINGS

Among Hispanic registered voters, 66% would vote for, or lean toward voting for, Barack Obama; 23% would vote for, or lean toward, John McCain.

More than three-quarters (76%) of Hispanic registered voters have a favorable opinion of Obama, and 73% have a favorable opinion of Hillary Rodham Clinton. In contrast, 44% of Hispanics have a favorable opinion of McCain and 27% have a favorable opinion of George W. Bush.

More than three-in-four Hispanics who voted for Clinton in a Democratic primary or caucus this year say they would vote for Obama or lean toward voting for him, while 8% of Clinton voters say they would vote for McCain or lean toward voting for him.

Latino registered voters are almost three times as likely to say that being black will help Obama (32%) with Hispanic voters than hurt him (11%); the majority (53%) say his race will make no difference.

More Latino registered voters say that being white will hurt McCain (24%) than say it will help him (12%); the majority (58%) say his race will make no difference.

Family and pocketbook issues, such as education (93%), the cost of living (92%), jobs (91%) and health care (90%), are most important to Hispanic registered voters. Fewer Hispanics say that crime (82%), the war in Iraq (75%) or immigration (75%) is an extremely important or very important issue to them personally.

By a ratio of more than three-to-one, Hispanic registered voters believe that Obama would do a better job than McCain in dealing with education (66% versus 18%), jobs (65% versus 19%), the cost of living (64% versus 19%), health care (64% versus 19%) and immigration (59% versus 19%). They also believe, by a ratio of about two-to-one, that Obama would do a better job than McCain on crime (50% versus 26%) and the war in Iraq (58% versus 27%).

Among Latino registered voters, 55% believe Obama is better for Hispanics, 11% believe McCain is better and 29% say there is no difference between the candidates.

Half of all Latino voters (50%) believe Obama is better for immigrants, 12% believe McCain is better and 32% say there is no difference between the candidates.

More than two-thirds (70%) of Latino registered voters are dissatisfied with the country’s direction. In contrast, 27% of Latino voters are satisfied with how things are going in the country.

Nearly four-in-ten (38%) Hispanic voters say that Latinos’ situation in the country has gotten worse in the past year, compared with just 18% who say it has improved.

More than half of Latino voters (55%) say that the Democratic Party is better for Latinos while just 6% say the Republican Party is better for Latinos.
Hispanic voters increasingly identify with the Democratic Party. Among Latino registered voters who identify with either political party or who say they lean toward a party, Democrats now hold a 39 percentage point advantage—larger than at any time in the past decade—with 65% of registered voters identifying as or leaning toward the Democrats, and 26% identifying as or leaning toward the Republicans.

Latino voters are following the presidential campaign more closely than in 2004. This year, 78% of Hispanic registered voters say they are following the presidential race very closely or somewhat closely, compared with 72% who said that at a similar time in the 2004 race.

About one-in-seven Latino voters (15%) say they contributed money to a candidate running for public office in the past year. Half of those who contributed money to a candidate say they did so using the Internet.

Among Hispanic registered voters, more than half (56%) say that they voted in a presidential primary or caucus this year. Almost three-quarters (72%) say they voted in a Democratic contest, and 21% say they did so in a Republican contest.

About the Report
The 2008 National Survey of Latinos focuses on Hispanic registered voters’ views on the presidential candidates, the presidential campaign and Hispanic political participation. The survey was conducted from June 9 through July 13, 2008 among a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 2,015 Hispanic adults, 892 of whom report that they are U.S. citizens and registered to vote. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points; for registered voters, 4.4 percentage points.

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