October 11, 2012

Latino Voters Support Obama by 3-1 Ratio, But Are Less Certain than Others about Voting

V. Top Issues in this Year’s Presidential Campaign

The survey finds that education, jobs and the economy, and health care are the top issues for Latinos in this year’s presidential campaign. A majority (55%) of Latino registered voters say the issue of education is “extremely important” to them personally. This is followed closely by jobs and the economy (54%) and health care (50%).

Since 2008, these three issues have ranked highly for Hispanic registered voters, though their relative rankings have changed. In 2011, jobs ranked at the top, followed by education and health care (Lopez, Gonzalez-Barrera and Motel, 2011). In 2010, education ranked at the top, followed by jobs and health care (Lopez, 2010). In 2008, as well, education ranked at the top, this time followed by the cost of living, health care and jobs (Lopez and Minushkin, 2008).

When it comes to immigration, one-third (34%) of Latino registered voters say the issue is “extremely important” to them personally. This is unchanged since 2008 (Lopez and Minushkin, 2008). This year, Latinos rank two other issues—the federal budget deficit (36%) and taxes (33%)—as important as they rank immigration.

The same three top issues are identified by both Latino registered voters and all Latinos. For all Latinos, fewer than half say that jobs and the economy (47%), education (47%) and health care (44%) are extremely important to them.

Immigration is as important to all Latinos (33%) as it is to Latino registered voters and ranks ahead of public finance issues such as the federal budget deficit (28%) and taxes (27%), which are identified as “extremely important” by lower shares of all Latinos.