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Inflation, rising cost of living still Latinos first concern, says new midterm poll

The tracking poll, which interviewed 400 Hispanic Americans nationwide from Sept. 2-11 found that 48% were most considered inflation and the spikes in living costs to be “the most important issues” they “want the Congress and the president to address”

September 16, 2022 5:30am

Updated: September 16, 2022 5:30am

A poll commissioned by National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO) for the sixth year in a row reveals that inflation and the rising cost of living is still the primary concern for Hispanic Americans.

The tracking poll, which interviewed 400 Hispanic Americans nationwide from Sept. 2-11 found that 48% were most considered inflation and the spikes in living costs to be “the most important issues” they “want the Congress and the president to address.”

The next four issues of interest were almost evenly split and about half the rate with 28% expressing concern about abortion and reproductive rights issues, 25% on improving wages and creating jobs, 25% addressing mass shootings and firearms safety and 24% wanting officials to find ways to lower the costs of health care.

The poll reveals a steady consistency of concern within the Hispanic American community that has been focusing on fiscal responsibility and crime control as their top concerns in the upcoming midterm elections this November.

The poll added that 63% of those polled are “almost certain [they] will vote” with only 21% saying they will “probably vote.”

“Latino voters are extremely engaged ahead of this year’s midterm elections and are poised to play a decisive role in the fight for control of Congress,” said Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer of NALEO Educational Fund,“ in a statement about the poll.

“While Latino voters continue to prioritize economic and quality of life issues, as they have in the past, the political fights over women’s reproductive and abortion rights and gun safety are now also top of mind for our community.”

The NALEO poll mirrors the conclusions of a recent Sept. 1. ADN America report that concluded inflation and crime were among the top concerns for Hispanic Americans along with immigration. That report analyzed data from polls conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Quinnipiac and the Economist/YouGov.

In a Sept. 12 report, ADN America also analyzed the views of Latinos in Arizona. Citing a recent UNIDOS US poll, that report also concurred inflation topped the list of concerns for Arizonan Latinos with strikingly similar numbers—49% citing inflation and 27% citing crime.

In a recent column, Arizona Republic Latina columnist Elvia Diaz who said neither political party has decisively won the Latino vote.

“It’s a perennial vicious cycle where both parties – Democrat and Republican – largely ignore Latinos until the last few weeks of an election.’

Elizabeth Salazar, an Arizona senior policy manager at UnidosUS told the newspaper, “We’re not apathetic. We are unconvinced… we hope this is a wake up for both parties.”

Not coincidentally, that is the same message Vargas had in the wake of NALEO’s poll to both major parties signaling a Latino shift could be decisive for either side.

With socio-economic issues playing a key role in this election, there is an historic opportunity for both parties to engage our community on the issues they care about most this cycle,” Vargas said. But once again, neither side is doing enough. When more than half of Latino voters have not heard from a single candidate or party, it is clear there is much more work to do.”

One spokesperson for BSP Research who was unnamed in the NALEO statement said the upcoming midterm elections were still ripe for the taking.

“The results from NALEO Educational Fund’s first week should be a wakeup call to both parties… Whomever can effectively communicate a plan to the Latino community to address these issues stands to benefit in November,” the BSP Research spokesperson was quoted saying.

The NALEO midterm tracking poll is part of a nine week series in which 2,000 unique Hispanic Americans are being asked about their preferences in congressional races, their favorability of the president and Congress, and major issues about the nation.