73% of California Latinos Certain to Vote, Motivated by Racial Injustice and Inspired by Social Movements

September 2, 2020 4:49 PM EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In a webinar with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and MALDEF President and General Counsel Tom Saenz, the Latino Community Foundation released a poll of California voters that found 73% say they are certain to vote this November, 84% state discrimination against Latinos and immigrants is a problem today and 75% support the Black Lives Matter protests. Full poll results can be found here.

The August poll surveyed 1,202 registered Latino voters across the state and included an oversample of youth and a geographic oversample of the San Joaquin Valley. The poll also looked at how Latinos are struggling with COVID-19, racial injustice, awareness of vote-by-mail, and ballot language for measures on the California ballot, Propositions 15 and 16.

Although the poll found that overall, 73% of Latinos said they are certain to vote in November, the rate was lower for young Latinos 18-25 where only 56% were certain to vote. “Young Latinos are a crucial voter demographic with an estimated 1.6 million Latinos under age 25 eligible to vote in California,” said Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation. “Our democracy is stronger when we elevate their voices and address their concerns. It’s on all of us to support youth leaders mobilizing their peers to the polls.”

The current state of COVID is the top priority for Latinos, with nearly half (47%) noting it to be the most important issue that the President and Congress should address across every region of the state. Other top issues were lowering the costs of health care, improving wages and creating jobs, stopping discrimination, protecting immigrant rights and criminal justice reform.

The poll also measured Latino perceptions of the Black Lives Matter Movement and found that levels of racism across the country are also of high concern for California Latinos. In California, 75% of Latinos showed support for the protests following the death of George Floyd, a number that jumps to 86% among young Latinos. Overall, two-thirds thought police violence against Black people is a big problem today. Similarly, when asked about racism against immigrants and Latinos, 84% of Latinos felt that racism is a problem in the country.

Californians will vote on many important ballot measures this November, with considerable attention on Propositions 15 (tax assessments) and 16 (affirmative action). Proposition 15 would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed on their current market value and invest money in local public schools and governments. Overall, 76% of Latino voters say they plan to support Proposition 15.

Proposition 16, the “Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment,” has been described as having potentially confusing ballot language. In fact, the poll found high levels of confusion among Latinos as to what the Proposition was intended to do. Only 39% understood that the proposition would reinstate affirmative action, while 32% thought it would block race from being used, and 29% said “don’t know.” However, among those that understood the measure and its intents, polling found that 65% of Latinos were already in support of the proposition.

Finally, Latino voters in California are more familiar with vote-by-mail than Latinos nationally, with 59% stating they have previously voted by mail, and 70% indicating they plan to vote-by-mail in November. Younger Latinos have less experience with mail ballots and are less confident in ballots being delivered on time this year. In some regions such as Los Angeles, a larger percent say they plan to vote in-person on election day and concerns about being exposed to coronavirus persist.

Poll Methodology: On behalf of the Latino Community Foundation, Latino Decisions interviewed n=1,200 registered Latino voters in California from August 7-16, 2020 and included an oversample of youth and voters in the San Joaquin Valley region. Respondents answered questions on their cell phone or landline with live callers, or via online self-responses through text or email invitations. Respondents were all randomly selected and lists deduped so each respondent only had one opportunity to be included. The invitation and survey were both available in English or Spanish and final data was compared to the Census ACS most recent estimates for Latino registered voters in California and weighted final data to balance of demographics for gender, education, age, and nativity. Overall, the full sample contains a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

Latino Community Foundation (LCF) is an independent statewide foundation on a mission to unleash the civic and economic power of Latinos in California. LCF has the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the country and has invested $10 million to build Latino civic and political power and leadership in the state. It is the only statewide foundation solely focused on investing in Latino youth and families in California. For further information, please visit: www.latinocf.org.

Latino Decisions is the leader in Latino political opinion research. Founded by professors of political science, Dr. Matt Barreto and Dr. Gary M. Segura, it leverages a unique combination of analytical expertise and cultural competencies that are unparalleled in the industry. For further information, please visit: www.latinodecisions.com.

Christian Arana
Policy Director, Latino Community Foundation
(818) 312-3328 / carana@latinocf.org

Victoria Sanchez De Alba
De Alba Communications (for Latino Community Foundation)
(650) 270-7810 / victoria@dealba.net

Source: Latino Community Foundation

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