When comparing the Press Releases the Pew Hispanic sent out on October 5, 2010 and on November 3, 2010, one cannot but wonder. What is exactly the Latino vote? And do people really understand this Latino vote?
The Pew announced prior to the Congressional Elections that their research indicated that “65% of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district.” The findings pointed towards the prediction that in a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party’s standing among one key voting group—Latinos—appeared as strong as ever.
One month later, for Tuesday’s midterm elections, Hispanic vote makes history. For the first time ever, three Latino candidates – all of them Republicans – won top statewide offices. In New Mexico, voters elected the nation’s first Latina governor, Republican Susana Martinez. In Nevada, Republican Brian Sandoval won the governor’s race and became Nevada’s first Hispanic governor. And in Florida, Republican Marco Rubio won the U.S. Senate race.
How much does this research predict what Latinos think in politics or who they will support? Everybody seems to believe that immigration is at the forefront in the Hispanic agenda. This survey shows that immigration does not rank as a top voting issue for Hispanics. Rather, they rank education, jobs and health care as their top three issues of concern for this year’s congressional campaign. Immigration ranks as the fifth most important issue for Latino registered voters and as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.
Among the report’s other findings: [continue on page 2]