Quick Hit Ellyn Fortino Thursday October 27th, 2016, 4:24pm

Poll: Clinton Leads Trump 53 Points Among Latinos

new national poll gauging registered Latino voters' views on the economy, health care and the 2016 election shows the demographic group overwhelmingly views Republican Donald Trump negatively.

Trump's net favorability rating among registered Latino voters is negative 57 percent, according to the poll released by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization.

The Republican presidential candidate's favorable and unfavorable ratings are 18 percent and 75 percent, respectively. Trump has alienated Latino voters for, among many other things, promising to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists.

In the survey of 1,000 registered Latino voters, Democrat Hillary Clinton enjoys a net favorability rating of +39 percent, with a favorable rating of 68 percent and a 29 percent unfavorable rating.

If the election were held today, 70 percent of survey respondents would likely vote for Clinton and 17 percent for Trump, with 6 percent undecided and 5 percent saying they'd vote for someone else.

"The Latino electorate has strong views on the candidates. There's no two ways about that in terms of the favorability about these candidates, and we're expecting a very lopsided vote on election day," said Sylvia Manzano with Latino Decisions, which conducted the survey. 

For its poll, conducted October 7 through October 19, 75 percent of respondents were surveyed by phone and 25 percent over the Internet.

NCLR Vice President Eric Rodriguez said the poll results "provide timely insights ahead of the 2016 election."

Speaking about the nation's growing Latino population, Rodriguez noted that 1 in 6 Americans is Hispanic, and by 2060, the figure will be about 1 in 3.

"And of course we're the fastest growing group of voters, with 13 million Latinos projected to vote this year," he said. "That being said, no one is really talking to our community and asking what's top of our mind, particularly around issues."

The survey delved into economic and health care topics.

The economic issues Latinos would like the next president and Congress to address first in 2017 fell into three top categories: the creation of new and better paying jobs, 23 percent, college affordability and student loan debt, 13 percent, and keeping the Social Security program strong, 10 percent.

Overall, 51 percent of poll respondents said they think the economy is getting better and 29 percent think it is getting worse. Seventeen percent believe the economy has remained the same.

When it comes to personal economic issues, the top two areas of concern for Latino millennials, ages 18 to 35, are that Social Security will not be there when they retire and their parents will need help with living and health care expenses as they get older. 

The latter issue is the second biggest concern among Latinos ages 36 and older. Difficulties making ends meet each month is the first concern, according to the poll.

As for health care, the poll showed strong support for the Affordable Care Act among registered Latino voters. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said the ACA should be kept and improved, compared with 16 percent who said it should remain as is and 25 percent who said it should be repealed.

Since the ACA was implemented, over 20 million Americans, including 4 million Latinos, have obtained health insurance, according to NCLR.

The poll also gauged support among Latinos for other specific health programs. Seventy-six percent of respondents expressed support for mental health programs, followed by the early childhood program Head Start at 75 percent and school-based health centers at 72 percent.

Another question in the poll asked, "How much do you think the public officials take into account the needs of people like you when considering health insurance reforms?" To that question, 52 percent of respondents answered not much or none.

"That tells us we as advocates, but also the policymaking community, have much more work to do to make to clear to Latinos that we're listening and are incorporating their perspectives into the development of new policies," said Mayra Alvarez with the Children's Partnership, a California-based national children's advocacy group.

The poll has a margin of error of plus of minus 3.1 percentage points.


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