A significant share of the Democratic lead (20% or more in each state) falls in the “lean Democratic candidate” column; an important distinction. It is essential that the softer Democratic supporters are targeted with messages that solidify their support.
Immigration and health care costs are the most pressing concerns cited among Latino voters in all three states.
Most important issue want president to address (up to two issues cited)
Florida Arizona Nevada
Health care 25% Immigration 30% Immigration 26%
Immigration 23% Health care 18% Health care 21%
Gun violence 16% Civil rights 15% Climate change 13%
Message testing found that protecting Medicare and Social Security were especially important and motivating across all states and population segments, as were other messages that focused on economic issues.
How motivating is [reason] to vote? (Mean, 10-pt scale) FL AZ NV
Protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid 8.0 8.2 8.0
Invest in quality, affordable education 8.0 7.8 7.7
Affordable health care, protect pre-existing conditions 8.2 7.8 7.4
Put working families ahead of wealth/big corporations 7.6 8.0 7.8
IMMIGRATION & STANDING UP FOR THE LATINO COMMUNITY ARE MOTIVATING FOR MANY LATINO VOTERS
Immigration resonates at a visceral level with voters even though they are not under threat of immigration detention or deportation. By definition these are American citizens, but their increasing experiences with discrimination and hostility have made these voters much more sensitive to immigration.
Among those citing immigration as a priority concern, the majority oppose Trump’s immigration policies (65% Florida, 77% Arizona, and 73% Nevada) and are specifically worried about immigrant children detained or abused at border area facilities. In addition to concerns about kids at the border, Latino voters also cited Trump’s racist rhetoric about immigrants and not wanting a border wall as their top immigration-specific concerns.
In Arizona, messaging on immigration was especially motivating. “Standing up for Latinos and the immigrant community against Trump’s attacks” was the top or near the top reason to vote in Arizona for Democrats, men, 18-39-year olds, and naturalized citizens.
DEMOCRATS MUST NOT ALLOW TRUMP TO HAVE AN ADVANTAGE ON THE ECONOMY
It is imperative that Democrats do not allow Trump to continue to define his record on economic issues without holding him accountable for policies that have hurt many working and middle-class Latinos financially. Even among these Democratic-leaning voters, there is a perception that the economy is moving in the right direction (60% in Florida, 50% in Nevada, and 41% in Arizona), and Trump gets stronger approval on his handling of the economy (58% approve in Florida, 43% in Nevada, and 35% in Arizona) relative to his overall approval.
Those favorable impressions are important to note because protecting American jobs and overseeing a successful economy are the most compelling reason these voters would consider supporting Trump. This is especially true for Latinos in Florida (50%), Nevada (40%), and persuasion voters (50% in Florida, and 43% in Arizona and Nevada).
Despite these openings for Trump, the majority do not believe his economic or tax policies provide any personal benefit: 59% in Florida, 67% in Arizona, 60% in Nevada, and 61% of persuasion voters in all three states said they did not benefit at all from Trump’s economic policies.
They sense they are left out of the economic growth taking place in the country. They’ve heard that Trump’s tax cuts benefited the already wealthy and corporations (52% Florida, 63% Arizona, 61% Nevada) and that he uses his office to enrich himself and his friends.
It is also true that generic economic performance measures have little traction relative to more day-to-day personal finance/economic realities. At rates of 70% and above, Latino voters tell us that wages not keeping up with the cost of living is more important to them than stock market performance or job indicators.
TO DO SO, DEMOCRATS SHOULD HIGHLIGHT TRUMP’S RECORD ON HEALTH CARE
Concerns about health care are largely tied to economic concerns. The top cited personal economic concern that Latino voters “worry about a lot” is out-of-pocket health care costs. In Florida and Arizona, 45% worry a lot about prescription drug costs too. The rising costs of health care have made other personal expenses more difficult to manage (saving for retirement, paying for education, etc).
Other health care-adjacent issues also pose significant worry, including ability to handle an emergency expense and keeping up with basic expenses. And, as noted at the outset, the most motivating message was the appeal to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Share that “worries a lot” about [personal economic issue]. FL AZ NV
Medical/out-of-pocket health care costs 52 63 52
Ability to save for retirement 47 52 62
Housing, mortgage / rent 52 48 59
Basic expenses to keep up 48 52 51
Ability to pay for education (self or child) 49 47 54
Ability to handle emergency 46 46 41
Prescription drug costs 45 45 31
Democrats must ensure that Latino voters are hearing about Trump’s disastrous health care record, especially through paid media. Only 49% in Florida (51% among Florida persuadables) have heard that the changes to the health care system Trump will advance could cause millions to lose coverage and end protections for preexisting conditions. The rates are higher in Arizona (59%) and Nevada (56%), and with persuasion voters in the West (56% Arizona and Nevada persuadables). More awareness on this issue could pay off significantly given the importance of health care costs, and their responsiveness to messaging on it.
TRUMP SOCIALISM ATTACKS FALL FLAT AGAINST PUSHBACK
Several messages were effective at pushing back against attacks calling Democrats socialists. All four counter-messages were more appealing, but there are important differences with key sub-groups in the state.
- Highlighting Trump’s dangerous economic ideas was most effective with South Americans (73%) and Persuasion targets (66%).
- Independents (60%) and Cuban origin (52%) were most responsive to the message that Democrats are fighting for health care and education.
- Naturalized citizens responded most to Trump’s authoritarian tendencies (60%).
- These same messages may also be effective at pushing back on reasons many key segments in the Florida electorate would consider voting for Trump (e.g. supporting democracy around the world, and good at negotiating with world leaders).
Which statement do you agree with most? (Florida % agree with counter-message reported)
[Democrats are embracing the failed ideology of socialism, including dangerous ideas like government control of health care and higher taxes that have devastated countries in Latin America like Cuba and Venezuela.] OR….