In a report on the voting electorate released Thursday by Pew Research Center, the divisiveness between the Democrats and Republicans has made voters more interested in this election than any other since 1992. However, despite hopes of strong voter engagement among Hispanics because of Donald Trump, the data suggests that Latinos still are less engaged than other demographics.
"Hispanic voters lag all registered voters on several measures of engagement," says the report. "Two-thirds of Hispanic voters (67 percent) say they have been following news about the election very or fairly closely. That compares with 85 percent of all voters. And while 80% of all voters say they have been giving quite a lot of thought to the election, a smaller majority of Latino voters (68 percent) say the same."
Pew conducted the survey between June 15-26 among 2,245 adults, including 1,655 registered voters. It included an oversample of Latinos: 543 Hispanics were interviewed in English and Spanish, including 274 Latino registered voters.
Latino preferences are also largely unchanged from the previous elections, as well, with Hillary Clinton garnering a 66 percent to 24 percent advantage over Donald Trump. While this would be bad news for any Republican candidate, Trump's share of Latino voters is no worse than previous Republicans running for President in the past.
The report says, "Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney among Hispanics was comparable to Clinton’s lead over Trump today (69 percent-21 percent). And in the summer of 2008, Obama led John McCain 66 percent-23 percent among Hispanic voters."
Latino voters, however, show important differences along certain characteristics. For instance, Hispanic women show greater support for Clinton — at 71 percent — than Hispanic men, at 61 percent. Bilingual and Spanish dominant speakers strongly favor Clinton, with 80 percent support, with English-only speakers supporting Clinton by 48 percent to 41 percent for Trump.
Immigration remains a powerful influence on voter preference for Hispanics as well, with 79 percent saying it was a "very important" issue, however, the economy, education, and terrorism scored as high or higher than immigration. Notably, 68 percent of Hispanics viewed the environment as a very important issue, compared to only 52 percent of all voters.
Hispanic support for Clinton on specific issues over Trump, seem daunting with a 67 percent difference in support for Clinton over Trump on issues dealing with race. On abortion, Clinton's advantage over Trump is 41 percent, but on gun policy that difference drops to a 21 percent advantage for Clinton.