Resurgent Republic and the Hispanic Leadership Network surveyed Hispanics who voted in the 2012 Presidential election in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Some findings:
- Majorities of Hispanic voters say that, regardless of how they typically vote, the Republican Party does not respect the values and concerns of the Hispanic community. Combined with the overwhelming view that the Democratic Party, rather than the Republican Party, better understands the needs and concerns of Hispanic voters, the results of this question should be sobering for Republican candidates at every level. Hispanic voters say the Republican Party does not respect the values and concerns of the Hispanic community by 51 to 44 percent in Florida, 54 to 40 percent in New Mexico, 59 to 35 percent in Nevada, and 63 to 30 percent in Colorado.
- But Republican statewide elected officials are far more popular than the Republican Party in general, and Mitt Romney specifically. In Florida, Senator Marco Rubio has a 49 to 37 percent favorable-unfavorable rating, compared to Romney’s 44 to 51 percent. In New Mexico, Governor Susana Martinez has a 53 to 35 percent favorable-unfavorable rating, compared to Romney’s 34 to 58 percent. And in Nevada, Governor Brian Sandoval has a 47 to 27 percent favorable-unfavorable rating, compared to Romney’s 32 to 62 percent. As seen with the Republican Party overall, Mitt Romney’s worst favorable-unfavorable rating is in Colorado, at 26 to 69 percent (including 51 percent very unfavorable).
- Disturbingly, majorities of voters in each state say that “Is anti-immigrant” better describes the Republican Party, while the Democratic Party has big leads on “Understands the needs and concerns of Hispanic voters,” and “Makes an effort to win Hispanic voters.” But one area of potential concern for Democrats is seen on “Views the Hispanic community as a group, rather than as individuals,” where they lead Republicans in every state by double-digit margins. This suggests a sense among some Hispanic voters that the Democratic Party takes them and their vote for granted, thus offering Republicans an opportunity to make inroads among these voters with a results-oriented agenda that does not pander.
- Only in Florida was the Romney campaign close to par with the Obama campaign in its Hispanic voter contact effort. Given that voters say that the Democratic Party, rather than the Republican Party, makes an effort to win Hispanic voters, it is not surprising to see a decided Democratic outreach advantage in the recent presidential campaign.