Latinos remain pessimistic about the economy, but they continue to believe in the possibility of the American Dream and support greater government intervention to achieve economic stability, according to a poll released this week by the National Council of La Raza and Latino Decisions.
This poll highlights the economic agenda that candidates would need to advance this fall in order to win the support of this crucial portion of the “rising American electorate” – people of color, women and young people who were the base for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories.
The poll reveals that, even though we’re five years into recovery from the 2007-2008 recession, many Latino registered voters still feel the effects of the recession and remain worried about their futures. Thirty-three percent worry that they might lose their home to foreclosure, 50 percent worry that they might not have enough money to pay basic bills, and as high as 53 percent worry about someone in the household losing his or her job.
When specifically asked about their concerns regarding paying expenses and advancing in the workforce, Latino registered voters also showed similar pessimism. 67 percent are concerned about not earning enough to pay basic expenses, including 38 percent who say they are very concerned; 65 percent are concerned about the lack of career advancement opportunities, with 34 percent saying they are very concerned.
Agreeing on the lack of economic security in our nation today, Latinos in the poll voiced overwhelming support for expanding the government’s role in getting the economy back on track. Fifty-five percent of Latinos–including 60 percent of Latino women–are more likely to support an elected official who voted for an increase in the minimum wage. Government’s role in homeownership is especially important to the demographic. Eighty-six percent of Latino voters think the government should provide tax credits for homeowners, while 84 percent say the government should back programs that make home mortgages easier to obtain. An additional 84 percent support government policies to provide homeownership counseling and education to make owning a home a reality for Latinos.
“The economy is improving but Latino families are still waiting for their own economic recovery,” said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of NCLR. “Latinos still have faith in, and are working hard to achieve, the American Dream, but policymakers also need to do more to support workers and families with policies such as raising the minimum wage. Come this fall, millions of Latino voters will be looking for candidates who respond to Latino voters’ real economic concerns, such as their job prospects, paying for college, and owning and keeping their own homes.”
The direction moving forward is clear: Latinos are looking for candidates who are prepared to uplift the working class. They – together with unmarried women, millennials and African Americans – support a progressive populist economic agenda that will address their real, daily needs.
For more details, you can find the detailed report here.