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Poll: Florida Hispanic voters favor Trump over Biden in 2024 election

Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky
Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. A new poll of Hispanic voters in Florida finds Trump favored over President Biden.

With the 2024 presidential election just a year away, Latino voters from Florida favor former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden, according to a statewide poll released Thursday.

Asked which presidential candidate they were leaning toward between Trump and Biden, Florida's Latino voters backed Trump, 45%-39%, the UnidosUS/Mi Familia Vota poll.

Only 30% of those in Florida surveyed said they would “definitely” or would “probably” vote next November for Biden compared to 36% for Trump. It was the lowest support for Biden among the eight states surveyed by the pollster. Given the choice of Biden or Gov. Ron DeSantis, Biden came out on top, 44-37%.

Like other Latinos in other states, Florida Latinos listed 'inflation/rising cost of living' and 'jobs/economy' as their top issues for the next presidential election.

Latinos polled were from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. In Florida and Texas, 400 Latino eligible voters were interviewed between Nov. 2-13. The Florida and Texas survey's margin of error: +/- 4.9 percentage points.

The poll is part of a multi-year, multi-state partnership between UnidosUS, an influential national Latino civil rights group, and Mi Familia Vota, a national civic engagement organization that seeks to boost Latino voter registration.

Said Janet Murguía, UnidosUS President and CEO: "In a landscape of close elections, Latino voters are difference-makers, and are putting an exclamation point on the need for parties and candidates to meaningfully engage them and respond to their priorities, which are topped by cost of living, jobs, housing, and gun safety concerns.”

Janet Murguia, president of UnidosUS, speaks at the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP
Janet Murguia, president of UnidosUS, speaks at the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

"One year out, our poll finds Latino voters anxious and facing a broad array of worries, from costs of living and good paying jobs to mass shootings and restrictions on reproductive rights," said Gary Segura, Founding Partner and President, BSP Research.

"While the president’s approval is comparatively low, the House GOP’s is catastrophic, raising questions about how this may impact participation levels at the ballot box.”

In the national survey, Biden had a low approval rating, 47%, while the Republican-controlled Congress had even lower approval rating, 31%.

Biden’s numbers among Florida Latinos are way down compared to 2020. Asked about the previous election, 47% said they backed Biden, while 39% said they supported Trump. Seven percent said they were not eligible to vote in 2020.

Trump has gained a strong electoral foothold among Miami-Dade voters over the years.

In 2020, Trump lost to Biden in Miami-Dade— Florida’s biggest county — by just seven percentage points. Four years earlier, Democrat Hillary Clinton trounced Trump by 30 percentage points.

Trump’s strong showing in the state’s biggest county catapulted him to capture Florida’s 29 electoral votes in 2020. That year, he lost Miami-Dade by about 85,000 votes but won statewide by 371,686 votes.

In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, GOP Sen. Rick Scott held a sizable nine-percentage point lead over her Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. But about 26% said they were undecided about whom to support.

Florida is home to more than 2.6 million Latino voters, representing about 18% of the state’s more than 14.5 million voters.

Unlike other parts of the country, Latino voters in Florida are a diverse group with Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Venezuelans making up a mix that also includes Colombians, Peruvians and Nicaraguans.

Nationwide, the largest majority of Latino — roughly 60% — are of Mexican descent, according to the Pew Hispanic Center analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

Here’s a look at some other UnidosUS/Mi Familia Vota survey results of Florida Hispanic voters compared those in the seven other states:

  • Florida's Latino voters listed inflation/rising cost of living, jobs and the economy, and health care, as their top issues. Inflation ranked the highest in Florida compared to other seven states surveyed by UnidosUS and Mi Familia Vota.
  • Republicans were viewed as the party to best address the top issues among Latino voters. In the other states, Democrats were ranked higher than Republicans.
  • Asked about health care, Latino voters nationally, including those from Florida, said they were most concerned about high monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
  • In terms of the economy, Florida Latinos, like others in the other seven states, said their current job isn’t enough to make ends meet or they have had to take on a second job to pay their bills. Across the board, a vast majority of Latino voters — 82% — said food prices and basic living expenses had become too costly. The percentage was even higher — 87% — among Florida Latinos.
  • On other hot-button issues, the opinions of Florida Latinos sometimes matched those of Hispanics in other states and varied widely depending on the issue. For example, 67% of Florida Latinos — the highest of any state — said guns and assault weapons “are too easy to get.” But only 58% of Florida Latinos believed banning abortion “puts women’s lives at risk” compared to 70% of California Latinos and 62% of Texas Latinos.
  • On immigration, 38% of Florida Latinos want border security increased. That’s the highest percentage of any state, including the land border states of Arizona (32%), California (27%) and Texas (30%).

Read the UnidosUS/Mi Familia Vota poll results here.

Sergio Bustos is WLRN's Vice President for News. He's been an editor at the Miami Herald and POLITICO Florida. Most recently, Bustos was Enterprise/Politics Editor for the USA Today Network-Florida’s 18 newsrooms. Reach him at sbustos@wlrnnews.org
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