Poll: Latino Voters Put Kids First

Washington — Three-fourths of Latinos likely to vote in the upcoming general election say the presidential candidates should increase their focus on children’s issues, according to an analysis released today of a new poll. The poll also found 75 percent of Latino voters will consider a candidate’s position on federal budget issues affecting children when casting their November ballots.

“Latino voters are sending President Obama and Governor Romney two clear signals: one – focus more on kids, and two – your position on kids’ issues will matter in November,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.

The poll was commissioned by the bipartisan First Focus Campaign for Children and completed by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), a nationally-recognized opinion research firm that works with Republican campaigns and in corporate and public affairs. POS’ client list includes six Governors, 19 U.S. Senators, and over 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. POS is also the Republican half of the bipartisan team that conducts the monthly survey for NBC and the Wall Street Journal.

POS surveyed 800 registered likely voters by telephone (655 on landlines, and 145 on cell phones), between September 10 and September 13, 2012. Of those surveyed, 8 percent identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic-American. The poll has a margin of error of ± 3.46 percent. The margin of error is higher among the subsection of Latino respondents.

Additional highlights of the poll include:

  • Latino voters believe President Obama is better on children’s issues. 43 percent believe President Obama, if elected, would better handle the problems children are facing in America. 13 percent believe Governor Romney would be better for kids. A large percentage of Latino voters remain in play on children's issues, as nearly half are undecided between the two.
  • Latino voters consistently place a high priority on kids. They believe children should be a higher priority to the federal government than seniors by a 59-13 percent margin. And they believe children should be a higher priority than the military, by a 66-13 percent margin. These margins are dramatically higher than among all voters.
  • Latino voters encourage federal investments in children at a higher rate than all likely voters. They support by a 70-25 percent margin increasing investments in America’s kids after learning the federal government spends only $374 billion on children, compared to just 58 percent of all voters
  • Latino voters believe the lives of children have become worse over the last 10 years by a 54-19 percent margin.
  • Latino voters are not confident our children’s generation will be better off by a 58-35 percent margin.
  • Latino voters oppose cutting existing federal investments in children. They oppose by a 93-7 percent margin any spending cuts to education to help balance the budget, compared to 75 percent of all voters. Similar cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, are opposed by a 79-9 percent margin. Cuts to student loans and financial aid are opposed by a 79-21 percent margin.

“The politicians might be divided, but Latino voters agree on one simple priority: don’t cut kids,” said Lesley.

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First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.firstfocus.net.

Una versión en español de este comunicado de prensa está en curso y está disponible si usted desea solicitar por correo electrónico a [email protected]. Para hablar con alguien en español, llame al (202) 657-0668.

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