Opinion

National Hispanic survey reveals key info on demographic

It is widely expected that the 2010 Census will show the U.S. Hispanic population continues to be our nation’s largest, fastest growing minority group, surpassing the present totals of 47 million people or over 15 percent of the population.

While this demographic has been more favorable to Democrats than Republicans, current Democrat policies on spending, debt and national security provide an opening for Republican gains, according to a new national survey of Hispanic voters released today by Resurgent Republic, a non-profit that gauges public opinion toward government policy proposals.

On the economy, reckless government spending and record federal deficits lay the groundwork for Republicans to increase their standing with Hispanic voters, 50 percent of whom believe the nation is on the wrong track. Democrat leaders boldly embrace an $800 billion-plus shovel-ready stimulus, yet Hispanic voters say it is not working and that any unspent funds should be used to reduce the deficit, 51 to 43 percent.

When asked if the federal government should spend more to help the economy recover or spend less to help reduce the budget deficit, Hispanic voters support spending less by a margin of 54 to 38 percent.

The record spending and debt is of concern to nearly 9 of 10 Hispanic voters, with 56 percent “very concerned” and 31 percent “somewhat concerned.” These voters also would be supportive of immediate action to alleviate the skyrocketing debt. By 61 to 37 percent, Hispanic voters favor Congressman B’s more conservative argument:

Congressman A says the nation’s high level of debt is a temporary response to an economic crisis, and can only be addressed after the economy turns around.

Congressman B says the nation’s high level of debt is a serious burden that will limit economic growth in this country for our children and grandchildren and must be addressed now.

This quantitative response is similar to our qualitative findings during focus groups with Independent Hispanic voters last August. Resurgent Republic observed palpable frustration expressed over the level of debt from these voters, especially women.

For all the high expectations and promise of the Obama presidency, only 15 percent believe the situation for Hispanics is better compared to a year ago. While a strong majority (61 percent) believe the situation for Hispanics is about the same, 20 percent believe it’s worse.