Trump Unpopular with Hispanics in Florida in New FAU Poll
U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval ratings are underwater among Hispanics in Florida, where he trails by large margins in head-to-head matchups with top Democratic presidential contenders, according to a statewide survey of voters conducted by the Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business.
The poll of 600 registered voters shows Hispanics overall have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, with 48 percent disapproving of his job performance, while 31 percent approve, and 22 percent are undecided. Trump’s approval is underwater with Puerto Ricans at 64 percent disapproval and 19 percent approval. However, those from Mexico are split, with 43 percent disapproval and 38 percent approval. Cubans provided a bright spot for Trump, with 47 percent approval and 28 percent disapproval.
“While Hispanics are often talked about as one group, our data show very different trends based on the country of origin,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “Candidates will need a diverse message to reach each of these groups.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fared well with Hispanics, who gave him 36 percent approval for the job he is doing, with 23 percent disapproval and 34 percent undecided.
In a hypothetical Republican primary, 77 percent would vote for Trump, 12 percent for former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, 7 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and 5 percent for former South Carolina Gov. and Congressman Mark Sanford. Republicans accounted of 152 of respondents in the survey, making the margin for error in the primary vote +/- 7.9 percent.
In the Democratic primary, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a slight advantage with 27 percent of the vote, followed by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at 21 percent and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 20 percent. Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro rounded out the top four at 5 percent. Democrats accounted for 268 of the respondents in the survey, making the margin for error in the primary vote +/-6 percent.
Sanders scored well among younger Hispanics 18-29 years of age, where he leads with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Warren at 11 percent, and Biden at 5 percent. Sanders’ numbers drop to 30 percent with those 30-49, 23 percent with those 50-64, and down to 14 percent with those over 65. That trend in age is the reverse for Biden, who garners 19 percent support from voters 30-49, 26 percent from those 50-64, and 38 percent from respondents over 65.
“Sanders’ support with Hispanics in Florida mimics trends seen in general population polls,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI. “He has strong youth support and struggles to capture older voters.”
In potential general election match-ups, Biden was the strongest against Trump with a 65.7 to 34.3 percent lead. Warren did almost as well, defeating Trump 64.9 to 35.1 percent, while Sanders beat out the president 62.1 to 37.9 percent.
When asked what the most important issue is in deciding whom they would vote for as president, Hispanic voters ranked health care and the economy at the top (tied at 20 percent), followed closely by education at 19 percent. Immigration was the fourth most important issue at 10 percent, followed by social issues and the environment (tied at 8 percent).
While impeachment ranked last among voters’ nine most important issues, 50 percent said they approve of the impeachment inquiry, while 29 percent disapprove, and 21 percent are unsure. Overall, 51 percent of Hispanics find Trump asking a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent unacceptable, 27 percent said it was acceptable, and 16 percent are unsure.
Data was collected Oct. 30- Nov. 2 via a mix mode sample with an online panel provided by Dynata and a landline sample provided by Aristotle Inc. and collected by IVR. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percent. It is important to remember that subsets carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was weighted based on 2018 American Community Survey on Hispanic population in Florida based on Congressional district along with weights for gender, age, and 2016 voter modeling.
For more information, survey results, and full cross-tabulations, visit www.business.fau.edu/bepi or contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., at email@example.com.