New NDN Political Fund poll of Hispanics shows Bush and GOP in dramatic decline

In a new national poll of Spanish-language dominant Hispanic voters, NDN’s Hispanic Strategy Center has found that the standing of President Bush and Republicans has dramatically declined with these critical swing voters, potentially wiping out Republican gains made during the Bush years.

While Republicans have suffered a great loss in their standing with this important electorate, Democrats have made only modest gains and though well-liked are not well defined. To take advantage of this new opening, Democrats will need to invest resources to better define themselves to an electorate very open to hearing from them.

Additionally, the poll offers clear evidence that the immigration debate has increased this community’s participation in the civic life of their nation. More than half of those questioned say the issue will make it more likely that they will vote this year. A remarkable 25% of those surveyed state that they have taken part in recent public demonstrations for better immigration policies. It appears that millions of Hispanics are rising to the “today we march, tomorrow we vote” challenge.

You can read the poll release memo here, and view the complete poll presentation here.

  • Key Finding 1: Hispanics are disappointed with Bush and unhappy with Republican government. Recent electoral gains made by Bush in this community have been wiped out.
    • In the 2004 cycle, Bush regularly received a 60% favorable rating from Hispanics. In our survey this was reversed, as 38% see him favorably, 58% unfavorably, with 40% very unfavorable. When asked how they would vote if the Presidential election were held today, this group gives Democrats a remarkable 36-point advantage (59% - 23%). For Republicans this is a dramatic drop from the 52% - 48% Kerry-Bush result with the Spanish-speaking sub-group in 2004.
  • Key Finding 2: While making modest gains, Democrats have a lot of work to do.
    • On issue after issue Democrats performed far better than Republicans. However, Democrats regularly underperformed their 59% electoral performance and 65% Party favorability. This indicates that while Democrats are well regarded by this electorate, they are not well defined
  • Key Finding 3: The immigration debate has had a tremendous impact with these voters, and will increase their turnout this fall.
    • In a remarkable show of civic participation, 25% of respondents say they participated in a recent rally or demonstration for a better immigration policy. 54% of all those surveyed say they are more likely to vote this fall because of the debate
  • Key Finding 4: Most Hispanics believe that it is harder to get ahead.
    • Consistent with national data showing median income decline and wages stagnant; rising health care, energy and education costs; and the erosion of the purchasing power of the minimum wage, most Hispanics – an extraordinary 86% - say the cost of living has increased
  • Key Finding 5: Despite the perception that discrimination against Hispanics is widespread, Hispanics overwhelmingly believe there are greater opportunities here than in Latin America.
    • Even though 75% of respondents say that there is discrimination against Hispanics in the US, 91% believe there is much greater opportunity here than in Latin America.

  • Key Finding 6: Soccer – futbol - is a powerful way to reach Hispanics.
    • A remarkable 74% said they planned to watch some of the tournament on TV, with 41% saying they were attempting to follow all or almost all of the games. Few events in any culture command this kind of universal and intense appeal.


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