By all measures, Hispanic Evangelicals embrace a much more expansive view of government than do whites, especially white Evangelicals. Sixty-two percent of Hispanic Evangelicals said in a May 2014 Pew survey that they supported “a bigger government with more services”; only 25 percent said they wanted “smaller government with fewer services.” This preference for larger government in the abstract is longstanding: A 2007 Pew poll found that 66 percent of Hispanic Evangelicals would rather pay higher taxes for more government services. They were only slightly more conservative on this score than Hispanics overall in the 2014 poll, who supported bigger government by a 67–21 margin, and they were slightly more supportive of big government than Hispanics overall in the 2007 survey. According to the Pew survey, America as a whole in 2014 supports smaller government by a 51–40 margin, and white Evangelicals support smaller government by margins close to 2–1.
Hispanic Evangelicals’ disagreement with conservative domestic-policy orthodoxy extends to many important issues. Fifty percent of them believe that government should guarantee health care for all Americans, and 57 percent prefer life without parole to the death penalty for convicted murderers. But the starkest differences come on the very sort of core economic questions that animate many conservative activists.
Data from the 2013 Hispanic Values Survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, bear this out. Eighty-two percent of Hispanic Evangelicals supported raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, and 69 percent supported raising tax rates on Americans earning over $250,000 a year. Perhaps most disturbingly, 60 percent believed that the best way to promote economic growth was to raise taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for more government spending on education and infrastructure; only 37 percent believed that lowering taxes and cutting spending on government programs was the best way to go.