LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Hispanics in Nevada who took part in an Emerson College poll said the economy was the top issue in the community, but neither Democrats nor Republicans can be trusted to do something about inflation.
The poll used a combination of a survey and a series of focus groups to look at the opinions of Hispanics. Data was collected from July 8-18 from 627 Hispanic Nevadans, with a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. Three focus groups followed on July 25-26 in Las Vegas, with participants paid $125 for their time. Quotes provided here were obtained from the focus groups.
The economy was identified by 37% of survey respondents as the top issue, followed by housing (15%), social justice issues (6%), along with local issues, poverty and environment (4% each). Crime, gun violence, immigration and politics each got 3%, and abortion and education each got 2%.
Democrats and Republicans won’t do anything about inflation, according to 32% of those polled. “Wages are not going up, but everything else is,” said a 51-year-old female voter who does not identify with either party.
Housing, the top issue for 15% in the survey, causes the most concern for Hispanics between 45 and 54 years old — 34% of that group identified housing as the top issue in the community.
“Landlords can just insanely raise rents to what people can’t afford. And nobody is doing anything about it,” said a 52-year-old man who identified himself as a Democrat. A non-registered 43-year-old single mother echoed his frustration: “I finally got enough money for a good down payment, so I thought. Even enough to maybe get a mobile home, but all of a sudden the prices go up on everything and now it’s not even enough for anything.”
On issues, the poll asked which party respondents agreed with on the economy, taxes, social spending, abortion, immigration and public safety/policing. The poll showed more Nevada Hispanics were more likely to agree with Democrats’ policies, but “neither party” wasn’t far behind. Republican viewpoints brought agreement from only 17-21% of Hispanics surveyed.
Hispanic voters in Nevada are often perceived as an important voice in elections with the power to wield major impact on election results if there is solid support for an issue or a candidate. Abortion could be such an issue in the coming election.
Overall, 34% of Nevada Hispanics align with the Democratic Party’s view on abortion, while 17% align with the Republicans. Hispanic voters more strongly align with Democrats and Republicans, 44% to 27%, while more non-registered citizens align with neither party at 48%.
“I’m Catholic,” said a 53-year-old Puerto Rican woman. “The church doesn’t believe in abortion, but I believe that everybody has the right to choose.” She continued, “I just think it’s a medical procedure. That’s kind of like taking away the right to have the defibrillator or a pacemaker or something like that, you know?”
Looking at President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, Nevada Hispanics expressed these views:
“In focus groups, there is consensus that the economy is worse under Biden’s leadership compared to Trump’s,” according to the pollster. There was praise and criticism for Trump. “(Trump) is great for the economy of the United States,” according to a 30-year-old registered Democrat who now aligns with Republicans. A 48-year-old Democratic woman contended, “I don’t think he is smart for business because he went bankrupt seven times.”
Focus groups revealed a distrust of media, but a majority of Nevada Hispanic voters (51%) said they rely on cable or network news for political information. Among Hispanics who are not registered, 35% rely on cable or network news and 32% turn to social media.
Facebook was the top social channel for news, used by 26%, followed by YouTube (19%, Tik Tok and Instagram (10% each), Twitter (4%), Snapchat (2%) and Reddit (1%).
First generation Hispanics are more than twice as likely to vote along party lines, according to the poll.
Among Hispanics who are not registered to vote, 34% said they are not registered because their “vote won’t change anything” — a sentiment echoed by some inactive voters as well. When a 40-year-old registered female Independent voter was asked why she did not vote in the last presidential election, and changed from identifying with the Democratic Party to be an Independent voter she said, “I felt like neither party was worth voting for, to be honest with you. I didn’t feel like it. It didn’t make a difference.”