THIS CYCLE’S BIGGEST SURVEY OF LATINO VOTERS: Campaigns and party committees are getting confidential briefings on the findings of a bipartisan poll for Univision of 1,500 likely Latino voters, conducted by Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group (a Democratic firm) and Dave Sackett of The Tarrance Group (Republican). About one-third of the interviews were conducted in Spanish, and the poll oversampled in CA, TX, FL, NV, NM and AZ. Playbook was provided an exclusive look at the findings:
–The research finds A SUBSTANTIAL HISPANIC SWING VOTE. Dissatisfaction with the country’s direction creates an opening for Republicans with Hispanics, and PERRY’S STANDING IN TEXAS REVEALS HOW WELL THE GOP CAN DO WITH LATINOS. 57% of those polled consider themselves Democrats, 19% Republican and 15% independent. But 43% call themselves conservative, 37% liberal and 20% moderate. Even 32% of Democrats call themselves conservatives!
–Get this: For SWING Latino voters, the top concern was “the federal gov’t in DC is wasting too much of our tax money,” just ahead of education, Medicare, deficit, “family values are in decline” and jobs. Their top issues mirror the top issues of other swing voters: “illegal immigration is out of control” was cited by 14%, compared with 17% for “politicians aren’t serious about real immigration reform” (participants could give multiple answers).
–The point to the campaigns is that Spanish-language ads can be run on the candidates’ primary message – it doesn’t have to be a separate Hispanic track. 30% of Latino swing voters watch mostly Spanish-language TV, and even English speakers consider candidates’ Spanish ads as “a sign that they respect the community.”
2) PURPLE POLL: Purple Strategies, the bipartisan public affairs and business advisory firm, is out today with a survey putting Obama’s favorability rating at 41% in 12 swing states he carried in 2008 (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin . . . 1 in 4 (24%) have a favorable view of Texas Governor Rick Perry, and his numbers are worse (19 %) among independents. Mitt Romney’s favorability was 32%. In a general election matchup, Obama is in a statistical dead heat with both (Romney 46%; Obama 43% . . . Obama 46%; Perry 44%). The survey shows Obama struggling in these crucial states, especially with independents and seniors.
“Sobering?” Well, let’s face it, perhaps the prospect of the president running for reelection after what feels like a four-year recession is driving them to drink . . .
And why the surprise that the top concerns of Hispanic swing voters mirror the top concerns of other swing voters?