Los Angeles Times
September 9, 2016
By Lisa Mascaro
Stopping Donald Trump is a main reason swing-state Latinos are motivated to vote this year, with immigration dominating their concerns, according to new polling released Friday.
Immigration and deportations remain the most important issue among Latino voters in all but one of the seven swing states surveyed, Florida, where jobs and the economy was the top concern.
If the election were held today, rival Hillary Clinton would win well over two-thirds of the Latino vote in most of the swing states -- Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.
Trump does best among Latinos in Florida, winning 27%, and Ohio, 22%, the polling said. In both those states Trump performs better than his 19% showing among Latinos nationwide.
But Trump's support in Ohio is within the margin of error, and in Florida it is largely among older, Cuban-American voters who have historically voted Republican. Trump's standing among Latinos remains nowhere near the portion experts say he needs to win the election.
"This Trump effect is real," said Gabe Sanchez of Latino Decisions, which conducted the poll for the immigration advocacy group America's Voice.
Latinos across the swing states say Trump has made the Republican Party more "hostile" to Latinos -- with as many as 76% of Latinos in Colorado and North Carolina sharing that view.
More than 70% of Latinos voters in six of the seven swing states say this election is more important than in 2012 -- with 80% holding that view in North Carolina and 67% in Florida.
More than half the swing state Latinos said their desire to "stop Trump" made this year more important than the last presidential election.
But the Clinton team still has work to do among Latino voters to ensure their support. While support for Clinton was strong among Latino swing state voters, enthusiasm was not -- and dropped off substantially from four years ago.
Millennial Latinos in the swing states, like younger voters elsewhere, continue to pose a challenge for Clinton, the survey said.
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