Hillary Clinton holds wide leads among Latino voters in four battleground states and enjoys an edge on questions of temperament and who’s best equipped to solve the nation’s problems. But Donald Trump is not faring as poorly as some might think, amid doubts about Clinton’s trustworthiness.
Clinton is far ahead among Latino voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Nevada, with her biggest lead at 50 percentage points in Arizona and smallest in Florida, where she’s ahead by 24 points, according to a new poll for Univision News by Bendixen & Amandi and the Tarrance Group.
Clinton’s advantages over Trump among Latino voters are similar to President Obama’s advantage over Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 in Nevada, Florida and Arizona, while her 45-point lead in Colorado is smaller than Obama’s 52-point edge there four years ago.
The results underscore how Latino voters are poised to fuel Clinton’s support in key battleground states where they make up a significant and growing share of the electorate. Turnout remains a critical question, and it is unclear whether this year’s election will energize Hispanic Americans to vote at higher rates than in previous years, when fewer than half cast ballots.
The poll also measured support for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Johnson earned support from 5 or 6 percent of voters in each state, while Stein didn’t earn more than 3 percent.
Roughly three-quarters of respondents say they’re unlikely to change their minds before Election Day. Clinton is viewed as the most favorable among Latino voters in all four states, while even larger majorities there have negative views of Trump.
In recent weeks, Trump floated the idea of revamping his immigration strategy in a bid to revive his standing among Hispanics, who factor immigration policy into their support for a potential candidate but do not consider it their top issue of concern. Trump last month announced that he would give a major policy address and then delayed it several times before scheduling the speech on the same day as a trip to Mexico to meet with that country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto. But when he returned to the United States, he doubled down on his long-held immigration views, prompting a handful of prominent Hispanic business and religious leaders to cut ties to his campaign.
Trump is seen unfavorably by 81 percent of Hispanic voters in Colorado, 79 percent in Nevada, 78 percent in Arizona and 68 percent in Florida. At least 6 in 10 likely Hispanic voters in each state think Trump will continue making insensitive remarks despite his recently expressing regret for sometimes saying “the wrong thing.”
But only 40 percent or fewer of the respondents in each state believe that as president he would deport all undocumented immigrants in the United States. In all but Nevada, a larger share of Hispanic voters believe that he would allow at least some undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.
The poll results contradict Trump’s recent claims that he enjoys broad support among minority voters. On Monday, he told the National Guard Association conference in Baltimore that he is doing “amazingly well with African American and Hispanic workers.” Just 5 percent of black voters support Trump, and 91 percent back Clinton, according to an average of August and September Post-ABC polling data.
Clinton, meanwhile, is widely favored in each state on the issue of who would do a better job improving the lives of Hispanics and is seen as being closer to most Hispanics’ opinions on major issues. She leads Trump on questions of who is best prepared to handle the economy, terrorism and immigration reform; of who has the better temperament to serve as president; and, by a slightly narrower margin, of who is more honest and trustworthy.
But many Hispanics distrust Clinton, with more than 4 in 10 voters in each state saying she is a liar — including 49 percent in Nevada.
Other national polls show that Clinton is viewed unfavorably by a majority of all American voters. Her campaign has acknowledged that she must do more to present a more positive message and explain what she would do as president.
The Democrat earned swift condemnation from Republicans over the weekend for suggesting that half of Trump’s supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables.” Clinton later expressed regret for the remark, but she blasted Trump again for feuding with the family of a Muslim Army officer killed in Iraq, attacking the judgment of a Hispanic judge hearing two cases against him, and promoting the theory that Obama was not born in the United States.
The Univision poll finds a significant gender gap among Latino voters, with Clinton’s support at least 10 points higher among women than men in Nevada, Florida and Colorado. In Florida, Clinton also wins 24 percent of self-identified Republicans, while Trump garners 59 percent.
Among Hispanics in all four states, the top issue remains jobs and the economy. Immigration reform ranks second, with education, health care and terrorism generally ranking lower.
With most of the focus squarely on Clinton and Trump, their running mates remain widely unrecognized by most Hispanics. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, and his Republican counterpart, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, were unknown by more than 50 percent of Hispanics in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. In Florida, 59 percent of respondents didn’t recognize Kaine; 60 percent didn’t recognize Pence.
A separate set of surveys released last week found Clinton with an even larger advantage over Trump among Hispanic voters in key states. The surveys, conducted by immigration reform advocate America’s Voice and polling firm Latino Decisions, found Clinton leading by 56 percentage points in Nevada, 55 points in Colorado and 35 points in Florida, each wider than the new Univision poll. She held a 52-point edge in Arizona, similar in size to the Univision poll. Latino Decisions is also conducting polling of Hispanics for the Clinton campaign this year.
The Univision News surveys also examined the state’s competitive U.S. Senate races — a growing concern for Democrats who believe the party is failing to capitalize on Clinton’s commanding leads among Hispanics to the benefit of down-ballot candidates. In Colorado and Nevada, Democrats are hoping to hold on to their seats, while Republican incumbents are defending seats in Arizona and Florida against well-funded Democratic challengers.
In Florida, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has a seven-point edge among Latinos, 46 percent to 39 percent, against Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy. That’s a far better performance among Hispanics for the Cuban American senator than Trump, his onetime presidential rival, who trails 24 points behind Clinton. Rubio earns a 52 percent favorability rating, while 42 percent express an unfavorable view; Murphy earns a 29 percent favorable mark, while 13 percent express an unfavorable opinion. Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanic voters said they didn’t know enough about him to register an opinion.
In Arizona, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick leads incumbent Republican Sen. John McCain among Hispanics, 50 percent to 35 percent. That’s a much smaller edge than Clinton’s 50-point margin over Trump and Obama’s 49-point win among Arizona Latinos in 2012, making Kirkpatrick’s challenge to McCain more difficult in a Republican-leaning state. When asked their overall opinion of the candidates, poll respondents gave McCain a 52 percent favorability rating and Kirkpatrick 36 percent. Four in 10 respondents did not recognize Kirkpatrick.
In Colorado, Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D) holds a comfortable lead over his GOP challenger, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Darryl Glenn, 65 percent to 19 percent, similar to Clinton’s margin over Trump in the state.
In Nevada, former Democratic attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto leads Rep. Joseph J. Heck (R) 58 percent to 24 percent, a 34-point edge that is smaller than Clinton’s 46-point lead in the state. But 38 percent of Hispanics don’t know enough about Cortez Masto to register an opinion; 41 percent don’t know enough about Heck.
Those results signal why outside liberal interest groups, including the Senate Majority PAC and Democracy for America, have begun airing several millions of dollars’ worth of advertising for Masto in Nevada and Deborah Ross, the Democratic Senate challenger in North Carolina, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Similar campaigns are being prepared for other Democratic Senate candidates. In Florida, a group backed by the industrialist Koch brothers is airing Spanish-language advertising in support of Rubio.
The poll of 1,600 Hispanic registered voters — 400 in each state — was conducted Aug. 24 to Sept. 3 by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Tarrance Group. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points in each state.