Hispanics Believe Immigration is Important Election Issue

Hispanics say immigration is an important issue in the 2016 presidential race, and they support Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to the latest FAU survey.

When asked how important the issue of immigration is in their decision on who to vote for as president, 60 percent of Hispanics ranked it as very important, while another 32 percent called it somewhat important – only 8 percent of respondents said the issue was not important at all.


By james-hellegaard | 9/16/2015

An overwhelming majority of Hispanics say immigration is an important issue in the 2016 presidential race, and they’re throwing their support behind Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to the latest survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.

When asked how important the issue of immigration is in their decision on who to vote for as president, 60 percent ranked it as very important, while another 32 percent called it somewhat important – only 8 percent of respondents said the issue was not important at all.

More than 45 percent of those surveyed said they will vote in the Democratic primary, compared with 20 percent voting in the Republican primary, 22 percent undecided and 13 percent not voting in either primary.

Clinton topped the Democratic side of the survey, winning 65 percent of the vote, with Bernie Sanders taking 13.4 percent and Joe Biden 12.3 percent. Sanders fared strongest in the Midwest, where he trails Clinton 49 percent to 34 percent.

“Clinton’s weakness in other national polls has not been as pronounced among Hispanics in our survey,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “This may indicate that Clinton has a strong base of support among Hispanic voters.”

Trump has the support of 39.4 percent of Hispanics who plan to vote in the Republican primary, edging out Jeb Bush, who garnered 35.7 percent. Marco Rubio scored 5.6 percent; Ted Cruz with 5.1 percent; Scott Walker with 4 percent; Ben Carson with 3.6 percent and Rand Paul with 1.6 percent.

Women voted for Trump over Bush 41 percent to 32 percent, while men were split at 39 percent for each. Trump did particularly well among older Hispanics – ages 55 and over – with 29 percent, compared to Rubio at 20 percent, Bush at 15 percent and Cruz at 10 percent in this age group. Highest income earners supported Trump with 68 percent of the vote compared to 9 percent for Bush.

“At this stage, it is interesting to note that both Trump and Bush are well ahead of other candidates with Republican Hispanics in our sample, including Cuban-American Florida Senator Marco Rubio,” Wagner said.

The survey was conducted nationally from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. The polling sample consisted of 500 Hispanics with a margin of error of +/- 4.33 percent and a 95 percent confidence level. For more information, visit BEPI or contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of BEPI, at 561-297-1312 or BEPI@fau.edu

-FAU-

©