News Column

Latino Evangelicals and the 2012 Election

Nov. 2, 2012

Gaston Espinosa, nationally recognized scholar on Hispanic evangelicals, directed a scientific survey on Latino Religions and the 2012 elections. Espinosa, in cooperation with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference also issued and published a survey in 2008. The survey captures interesting findings particularly on how Hispanic Catholics and Hispanic Evangelicals are currently leaning as it pertains to the Presidential election.

Espinosa, Ph.D., the Arthur V. Stoughton Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Claremont McKenna College and Co-Editor, The Columbia University Press Series in Religion in Politics, said, "The Latino Religions and Politics Survey of 1,000 likely voters found that Romney gained a bounce after the first debate and that 43% of Latino undecided likely voters nationwide and 56% in Florida are Born-Again Christians and socially conservative and that if enough of these undecided voters swing over and vote for Romney they could help him eke out a victory in Florida, Colorado, and/or possibly the nation."

Latino Religions & Politics Survey Summary of Findings

The Latino Religions and Politics Survey differs from other 2012 surveys because...

-- It's recent -- completed on October 10, 2012

-- It's the only survey focused exclusively on U.S. Latino religion and political behavior in the Fall of 2012, with questions on the intersection of religion and controversial social, moral, and political issues

-- It's a very large survey of 1,000 Latinos (+/-3.0%); most polls are of 300-750 people

-- It's focused exclusively on likely voters, which is a more accurate sampling method than surveying general or registered voters, since one can be registered but still not be likely to vote

The Latino Religions and Politics Survey captures a number of important findings like...

-- Catholics make up 67% of all Latino Christian likely voters, Protestants 32% and Other 1%

-- Born-Again Christians have grown to 39% of all Latino likely Christian voters in 2012

-- Born-Again and Evangelical Christians make up 88% of all Latino Protestant likely voters

-- Top 3 Election Issues? Fixing the Economy, Creating Jobs, and Immigration

-- Most Latinos believe their standard of living has remained the same or improved under Obama

-- Obama leads among Latino Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals, though with some defections

-- Romney, for example, received a +5 point bounce with Latino likely voters after the first debate

-- Romney received a +5 point bounce among Latinos nationwide after the first debate on Oct. 4(th)

-- Obama saw a -6 point decrease in support among Latinos nationwide

-- Obama saw a -6 point decrease in support among Latino Catholics

-- However, Obama's Evangelical support remained stable at 50% and Romney's at 39%

-- But Romney now leads nationwide with the 2 largest U.S. Latino Protestant traditions (40% of all Prot):

-- Latino Born-Again Assemblies of God likely voters (45% Romney v. 42% Obama)

-- Latino Born-Again Baptist likely voters (52% Romney v. 45% Obama)

-- And Romney now leads in Florida with Latino Catholics & Born Again Assemblies of God likely voters

-- Most Latinos believe Obama's social views are moving the nation in the wrong direction

-- A plurality of Latino Catholics believe Obama's public support for abortion, gay marriage, and contraceptive coverage is moving the nation in the wrong direction

-- By a ratio of 3:1 Latino Protestants and Evangelicals believe Obama's public support for abortion, gay marriage and contraceptive coverage is moving the nation in the wrong direction

-- The survey found that a majority of Latino likely voters also oppose gay marriage (50% v. 30%), including Latino Catholics, Protestants by a ratio of 2:1, and Evangelical by a ratio of 4:1

-- Latinos say Health Care is a top issue, but they also say it's a violation of religious freedom to force self-insuring religious schools to pay for contraceptive coverage & abortion-inducing drugs

-- Latinos ranked supporting Health Care as the 4(th) most important 2012 issue

-- Latino Protestants & Evangelicals oppose Obama's Health Care Mandate by a ratio of 2:1

-- Who will help decide the 2012 Election? Undecided voters.

-- Latino Born-Again Christians make up 43% of all undecided likely voters nationwide & 56% in Florida

-- Given that such a high percentage of Latino undecided likely voters are Born-Again and socially conservative, will a majority of them vote for

Obama? Yes, probably, but it's uncertain by what margin and if it will be enough to win key swing states like Florida and Colorado



Source: Copyright PRNewswire 2012


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