October 11, 2016

Democrats Maintain Edge as Party ‘More Concerned’ for Latinos, but Views Similar to 2012

2. The Latino vote in the 2016 presidential election

Hillary Clinton holds a three-to-one lead over Donald Trump among Latino registered voters. According to the new Pew Research Center survey, 58% of Latino registered voters say they would vote for Clinton if the election were held today, while 19% say they would support Trump. An additional 10% of Latino registered voters say they would vote for the Libertarian Gary Johnson and 6% for the Green Party’s Jill Stein. The margin between Clinton and Trump is similar to that among Latino registered voters ahead of the last presidential election when 69% said they would vote for Barack Obama, while 21% said they would support Mitt Romney.

Clinton’s lead extends across many demographic subgroups. Among Hispanic women voters, 70% say they support Clinton while 13% say they support Trump. By contrast, among Hispanic men, 45% support Clinton and 25% support Trump.

Among Millennials (18- to 35-year-olds) – who will make up 44% of all Hispanic eligible voters – Clinton’s lead is narrower: 48% say they would vote for Clinton, 15% for Trump, 13% for Johnson and 13% for Stein. Additionally, 11% name another candidate or decline to say who they would vote for. Among older Latino registered voters, 66% say they would vote for Clinton, 21% for Trump, 7% for Johnson, 1% for Stein and 4% name another candidate or decline to say who they would vote for.

Clinton holds a 78% to 6% lead over Trump among Hispanic voters who primarily speak Spanish, and a 62% to 17% lead among those who are bilingual. However, among Hispanic registered voters who are English-dominant just 48% back Clinton while 25% would vote for Trump.

Clinton’s position is also stronger among Hispanic voters with less than a high school degree (76% vs. 10%), while her lead among those with a high school diploma (57% vs. 18%) and some college education or more (54% vs. 21%) is not as wide.

Hispanic registered voters who are satisfied with the country’s direction support Clinton by a wide margin (75% vs. 8%). Meanwhile those who say they are dissatisfied with the country’s direction support her by a narrower margin (47% vs. 26%).

Among Hispanic registered voters, Clinton holds a wider margin among Catholics (69% vs. 15%), than among Evangelicals (47% vs. 34%). Hispanic voters who are religiously unaffiliated also show less support for Clinton than Catholics, but lean more toward third party candidates than toward Trump (47% for Clinton, 7% for Trump, 20% for Johnson and 17% for Stein).

A portrait of Hispanic Clinton supporters and Hispanic Trump supporters

There are some differences in the demographic characteristics of Clinton, Trump and other candidates’ supporters among Hispanic registered voters. Overall, Clinton supporters are more likely to be women, foreign born, Spanish dominant, have less than a high school degree and to be Catholic than Trump supporters and other candidates’ supporters. By contrast, Trump supporters are more likely to be male, U.S. born, English dominant, have some college or more of educational experience, and to be evangelical Protestants. Supporters of other candidates are more likely to be Millennial (ages 18 to 35), and religiously unaffiliated than the supporters of either Clinton or Trump.

Finally, most Latino registered voters live in non-battleground states.

For many Hispanic voters, their vote is a vote against the opposing candidate

Large shares of Trump’s Hispanic supporters and Clinton’s Hispanic supporters view their choice as more of a vote against the opposing candidate than an expression of support for their candidate. This is similar to a pattern seen among all U.S. registered voters in a recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults.

Among Hispanics who say they plan to vote for Trump, about half (49%) view their vote more as a vote against Clinton, while the same share (49%) views it more as a vote for Trump. Meanwhile, among Hispanic Clinton supporters, 44% view their vote more as a vote against Trump, while 55% says their vote is more a vote for Clinton.

Among Hispanic Clinton supporters, Millennials (adults between ages 18 to 35) are more likely than older Hispanics to see their vote as a vote against Trump than as a vote for Clinton. Some 64% of Clinton supporters who are Hispanic Millennials say this while just 33% of older Hispanic Clinton supporters say the same.

Hispanic Clinton supporters who are primarily Spanish speakers are less likely to see their vote for Clinton as a vote against Trump (30%), while those who are English dominant or Bilingual are more likely to say that their vote is against Trump (49% and 47% respectively).

Clinton supporters with less than a high school degree are also less likely to say their vote for Clinton is more against Trump (32%), than those with either a high school diploma (46%) or some college education or more (48%).

Seven-in-ten Hispanics have talked about Trump’s views this year

Rhetoric about Hispanics frequently has surfaced in remarks by Trump, beginning with the day he announced his candidacy. Seven-in-ten Hispanics say they have talked to family, coworkers or friends about Trump’s comments regarding Hispanics and other groups. This share is slightly higher among Hispanic adults who are registered to vote (75%), compared with those who are eligible to vote but are not registered (61%).

Discussion about Trump’s views with family, coworkers or friends is more common among Hispanic voters who have some college education or more, while it is lower among those with a high school diploma or less (83% vs. 63% respectively).

Hispanic voters of non-Mexican origin are just as likely as those of Mexican origin to have discussed Trump’s views with friends or colleagues (72% and 77% respectively), despite the particular focus of Trump campaign on Mexican immigrants.

Trump’s rhetoric not necessarily a liability among Hispanic voters

Among Hispanic adults, those who have talked about Trump’s views of Hispanics and other groups are more engaged in the election – and more likely to favor him over Clinton.

Among Hispanic adults who are eligible to vote, 77% of those who have talked about Trump are registered to vote, while 64% of those who have not talked about him are registered. Among Hispanic registered voters, 74% of those who have talked about Trump say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote in November, compared with 54% of those who have not discussed Trump and say the same. Similarly, 74% of registered voters who say they have talked about Trump say they have given “quite a lot” of thought to the coming election, compared with 45% of those who have not talked about Trump.

Hispanic voters who have talked about Trump’s views are also more likely to say they are dissatisfied with the country’s direction (63%) than are those who say they have not talked about it (40%). Lastly, 21% Hispanic registered voters who have talked about Trump say they will vote for him, compared with 12% of those who have not talked about him. That said, even among those who have talked about his views, Trump significantly trails Clinton in terms of support (21% for Trump vs. 57% for Clinton).