New Website Addresses Latino Voters’ Economic Concers

by V. Lance Tarrance

There is a new website called, ‘The Latino Vote Briefing Series’ from latinovote@unidosus.org that is providing additional statistics on the 2024 Presidential year election.  Pay attention to the numbers about how Latinos ‘have to pay at the grocery store and the gas pump, as well as, the rent they pay monthly to landlords.’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
April 11, 2024
Contact: Beth Melena, latinovote@unidosus.org
UnidosUS Launches Latino Vote Briefing Series with a Deep Dive on Latino Voters’ Economic Concerns
UnidosUS will continue to host briefings throughout the year to provide insights on Hispanic voters’ priorities as the 2024 General Election approaches.
WASHINGTON, DC— As a part of its Latino Vote Initiative, UnidosUS today launched The Latino Vote Briefing Series to continue providing accurate information about Hispanic voters and their priorities and tackle mistaken assumptions about this electorate. The series of virtual briefings will feature presentations and Q&A sessions with issue and election trends experts on critical topics shaping Latino voter perspectives and sentiment this election year.
Clarissa Martínez De Castro, Vice President, UnidosUS Latino Vote Initiative said, “Hispanics are the second largest group of voting age Americans and a critical factor in the race for the White House, Congressional balance of power, and beyond. Yet, oversimplifications and mistaken assumptions about these voters persist. We are launching the Latino Vote Briefing Series to provide a deeper and more accurate understanding of the Hispanic electorate.  In a landscape of close elections, Hispanic voters are difference-makers, and are putting an exclamation point on the need for parties and candidates to meaningfully engage them and respond to their priorities, which are topped by economic concerns.”
In the first edition of The Latino Vote Briefing Series, our experts explored how pocketbook issues and economic concerns are shaping Latino voter sentiment as the 2024 elections ramp up. Economic concerns continue to top the list of Hispanic voter priorities. In total, 64% of Latino voters cite an economic-related issue as their TOP concern. Inflation and the rising cost of living (20%), jobs and the economy (19%), and health care (18%) consistently rank as the top three issues Latino voters want elected officials to address. In addition to these, another 7% cite lack of affordable housing or Social Security and Medicare as top issues. These findings track with long-standing Latino concerns about economic and pocketbook issues.
Eric Rodriguez, UnidosUS Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy said, “Latino workers have made greats strides economically since 2020 and the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their hard work has paid off in increases in real wages and earnings as well as improvements in their wealth levels. Still, polling reflects that Latinos, similar to other working-class voters, measure their economic strength and wellbeing on how much they pay at the grocery store and gas pump, as well as the rent they pay monthly to landlords. And they expect to hear that their political leaders understand their concerns and are fighting for them.”
Gary Segura, Ph.D., President and co-founder of BSP Research said, “The economy is different from some other issues. It is a lived reality. People may or may not perceive the trends and changes in the macro economy but they certainly know their own challenges. And on matters like housing and wages, they are struggling.”
For a detailed memo on Hispanic voters’ economic concerns, see here. 
For a slide presentation of our findings, see here.  
For a video recording of our virtual briefing, see here.
Additional Key Findings and Data Points Include:
It is important to note the depth to which Latino voters are experiencing economic pressure:
  • 82% cite increased costs for food and basic living expenses
  • 76% mentioned costs for buying or renting a place to live
  • 67% list gas prices
  • 51% cite the cost of health care related expenses such as medication and doctor visits
When asked about the main factors driving their concern over jobs and the economy:
  •  58% said their job does not pay enough or that they have to take a second job to make ends meet
  • 40% say their job does not provide paid leave or sick days
  • 37% worry about layoffs or getting hours cut.
Similarly, among those who indicated health care was a top issue priority:
  • 66% of voters mentioned high costs like monthly premiums, copays and deductibles,
  • 53% mentioned high prescription medication costs
Affordable housing was another important economic pressure point and issue priority for Latino voters:
  • 62% of those who listed this as a top issue mentioned the lack of available, affordable apartments for rent or houses for sale
  • 62% indicated that rent or homes are too expensive in their area which may cause them to relocate.
Concerns about personal financial circumstances and ongoing stressful economic experiences underscore the feelings of pessimism that run across demographic groups. Many Latinos are feeling pessimistic about the direction of the country (56% believe U.S. is on wrong track) and the majority don’t see either party as effective champions of their most pressing concerns.
This research shows that Latino voters are sending a warning message to both parties and continues to paint a clear picture that both parties need to do more to better engage Hispanic voters and address their economic concerns.
UnidosUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves as the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Since 1968, we have challenged the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos through our unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Networkof nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico. We believe in an America where economic, political, and social progress is a reality for all Latinos, and we collaborate across communities to achieve it. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

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