New survey suggests Latino voter turnout could be down, hurting Democrats' White House bid

'This is a warning,' Voter Participation Center founder says
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 14, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Ahead of a pivotal Election Day, Florida may see low turnout with one of its largest populations — Latinos.

A new Voter Participation Center survey of 1,200 Latinos across six battleground states, including Florida, shows the population isn't very enthused about the 2020 election. Less than 60 percent saying they "definitely" plan to vote.

"This is a warning," said VPC founder Page Gardner. "This is a call to action for these campaigns."

Gardner said the research is especially concerning for Democrats. Foremost, they are not connecting with Latinos as often as Republicans and Trump supporters.

  • 53 percent of self-identified Republicans were contacted by someone in their party, compared to 43 percent of Democrats
  • 59 percent of Trump supporters, but only 41 percent of Biden backers, report being contacted by a political party, campaign or organization so far in 2020
Page Gardner
Page Gardner, founder of the Voter Participation Center Founder, says a survey that Latinos aren't enthused about the upcoming election is "a warning ... for these campaigns."

Another issue for the left is messaging, Gardner said. The communication that Democrats are pushing about Trump isn't resonating with Latinos as much as it could.

The survey shows Joe Biden is winning Latinos 2-1, but Hillary Clinton had more Latino support in 2016. Florida ended up voting for Trump in the last election.

"You need to listen to these communities," Gardner said. "You need to talk to these communities and you need to make sure they exercise their power at the poles— they have a lot of power."

Gardner recommends both parties focus messages on key topics for Latinos — health care, racial injustice, unemployment and COVID-19. She also said Republicans and Democrats should work to ease vote-by-mail concerns as Latinos are wary of its security and leery of heading to the polls amid a pandemic.