Inflation plagues Latino support for Democrats, according to new Axios/Ipsos poll
Results didn’t show a definitive switch to the Republican Party, but many Latino voters interviewed said it was a possibility.
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According to a new Axios/Ipsos Latino poll, which was produced in collaboration with Noticias Telemundo, Latino support for the Democratic Party is dwindling as inflation replaces COVID-19 as the top concern among the voter population.
The survey was conducted from March 7 to March 18 and is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,005 voting-aged Latino Americans.
The survey results don’t indicate a massive migration to the Republican Party, but it does show that Biden’s popularity among Latinos has decreased, and many voters in this group could potentially cross partisan lines in the next election cycle.
Chris Jackson, Ipsos pollster and senior vice president, told Axios that the data doesn’t reveal one issue that’s super dominant, but there is a shift in focus from public health related issues to “inflation, cost pressures, and supply chain breakdowns.”
Only 40% of survey participants said they are absolutely going to or are likely to vote in the midterm elections, which is a 5% drop from a poll last December.
In general, the results showed that Latinos are still more inclined to vote for a Democrat (30%) over a Republican (17%), but this gap has narrowed by three percentage points since Ipsos’ last survey.
When asked which party better represents “people like you,” 32% of respondents chose Democrats, and 17% chose Republicans. These numbers show a six-point fall for Democrats and a three-point win for Republicans.
The data also revealed that Latino voters feel that Democrats care more about Latino Americans than Republicans do, but the willingness to vote differently remains. The measurable drop in support for the Democratic Party is fueled more by economic concerns, rather than social ones.
For example, 43-year-old Ricardo Aguirre, owner of two taco trucks in Phoenix, Arizona, is currently dealing with the escalating costs of tomatoes, onions, meat and cilantro.
NEW POLL: Latinos say crime and gun violence is their number-two concern — behind COVID but before immigration, social justice or voting rights, according to a new Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll. https://t.co/l8gAU2cvTV— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 21, 2021
Aguirre typically votes Democratic, but with inflation reaching a 40-year high this year, he said he might choose differently next time.
"If the Republican Party has something better to offer us, I will vote Republican," Aguirre told Reuters, adding that he believes the party could have better success when it comes to reducing prices.
Reuters spoke to 35 Latino Americans who voted in two toss-up races in Arizona and Colorado, and 20 of them — including Aguirre, said that soaring gas and food prices are causing them to seriously consider voting red.
66-year-old Jose L. Mendez, who has voted Democratic every year since 1988, now has to drive 45 minutes out of his way to find affordable groceries.
"Inflation has affected us a lot. I'm willing to change my vote," Mendez told Reuters.
In April, the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a 10-day ad buy against Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, on Spanish-language television.
The ad, entitled “Daño” which means damage in Spanish, attacks Kelly over inflation and border security.
"Groceries are skyrocketing and gas prices are rising," a voiceover states.
While Americans of all ethnicities are concerned about inflation, a 2021 Bank of America survey found that people of color, especially Black and Latino Americans, spend more of their income on essential goods that are prone to price hikes, like food and gas. So inflation hits them the hardest.
Jamie Regalado, a professor of political science and expert on Hispanic voting patterns, told Reuters that inflation is quickly becoming a “nightmare issue” for Democrats.
"We are coming into a midterm cycle that rarely favors the party in power, even in better times. Throw inflation into the picture, without knowing if it's going to end any time soon, it shows the peril Democrats have in 2022 with Latino voters," he said.