Millennial Latinos who are registered to vote are optimistic about their future earning potential but deeply concerned about their later years and those of their parents, a National Council of La Raza poll has found.
The poll found that 87 percent of millennial Latinos are concerned that Social Security won’t exist when they need it. It also found concern from about the same share of Latino millennials over having to help parents with health care and living expenses when they are older.
By contrast, 63 percent of Latinos 36 and older said they are worried about the availability of Social Security and 69 percent about caring for parents.
However, asked about how they’d be doing financially a year from now, 63 percent of millennials thought they’d be better off, while just 36 percent of the 36-and-older group expect financial improvement.
The poll, conducted by Latino Decisions for NCLR, surveyed 1,000 Latino registered voters about economic, health and political issues. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll included an oversample of millennial Latino registered voters. In a telephone news conference, Eric Rodriguez, an NCLR vice president, said the poll was intended to get more detailed views of Latinos on various issues of the election campaign.
“In spite a lot of the attention around the Latino vote (this election), we haven’t seen an intentional or deep engagement with our community, particularly around issues,” Rodriguez said.
“No one is really talking to our community and asking what’s top of our mind … and what Latino voters are thinking at the dinner tables. What keep us up at night. What are our aspirations and what our thoughts about the future and those that we love.”
Studies have shown that once registered, Latinos have high voting rates. About 85 percent of millennial Latino voters said they definitely would vote, compared to 90 percent of Latino voters 36 and older.
Latinos are younger than the national population as a whole and about 44 percent of Latino eligible voters are millennials. The turnout rates for young Latinos overall, those registered and not registered, lag behind the turnout rates for black and white young voters.
Election preferences of the two groups were about the same, with 66 percent of millennial Latinos saying they’d vote for Clinton and 19 percent for Trump.
Seventy-three percent of Latinos 36 and older said they would vote for Clinton and 16 were voting for Trump.
However, 9 percent of millennials said they’d vote for a third party candidate, compared to 2 percent of 36 and older Latinos.
When asked to list the top economic issue the new Congress and president should address, both groups listed first the need to create more and better paying jobs.
But the second and third most mentioned issues for millennials were college affordability and student loan debt as well as an improvement of wages or raising the minimum wage, in that order.
For Latinos 36 and older, immigration reform was the second most mentioned issue, showing how that group sees a link between immigration and the economy. Third on the list was keeping the Social Security program strong.
“When people say that the economy is a priority issue, they do have very particular things that they’re talking about,” said Sylvia Manzano, a principal with Latino Decisions.
Manzano said despite portrayals of millennials as pessimistic, the poll showed that generally, that description doesn’t apply to Latino millennials.
“There’s not a lot of pessimism among any age group — but the degree to which the younger cohort thinks things will be better is quite dramatic,” she said.