by Steven Ertelt
November 3, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll shows that pro-life candidates who want to increase their level of support should appeal more to Hispanic voters. The survey shows Hispanic voters are more interested in abortion issues than non-Hispanics.
Conducted by Miami-based Encuesta Inc., an independent market research and opinion polling firm, the poll asked both Hispanic and non-Hispanic voters to consider which political issues were important in deciding their vote.
Some 64 percent of Hispanics said abortion was very important while 40 percent of non-Hispanic voters said abortion was important, a difference of 24 percent.
That’s important because the poll also showed 20 percent of Hispanic voters are still undecided on key Congressional races compared to just 13 percent of white voters.
Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach coordinator for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com that the poll validates what pro-life advocates have been saying for years about reaching out to Hispanic voters.
"Pro-life organizations and political organizations that have a pro-life message need to really work in the Hispanic community," he explained.
"As is evidenced by these polls, if Latinos are aware of the life issues they will, for the most part, vote on the side of life," Rojas told LifeNews.com. "Building the culture of life is not just a catch-phrase for Hispanics, it already is a way of life for us, but it needs to be nurtured in our communities."
Both Latino voters and non-Latino voters said the important of stem cell research was about the same — at 48 and 45 percent respectively.
The importance of Hispanic voters on the abortion issue, because of their traditional Catholic faith and pro-life views, is seen clearly in California, which has a larger portion of Hispanic voters than most states.
A poll released yesterday shows Proposition 85, the statewide parental notification measure, ahead by a 46 to 43 percent margin. That lead is because of the very strong support for the initiative from the Latino community.
Looking at racial subgroups in the poll, white voters are narrowly opposed to the measure while Hispanics and other ethnic voters favor it. White voters oppose it 44-46, but Hispanics back the measure 58-36.
Reaching out to Latino voters can be a key to victory for pro-life candidates.
A post-election poll conducted by the University of Akron, showed that the abortion issue helped President Bush make considerable gains in the 2004 elections among Catholics and Hispanics.
According to the survey, some 63 percent of Hispanic Protestants supported Bush in 2004 compared with just 32 percent in 2000. Meanwhile, Latino Catholics gave Bush a 53 to 47 percent advantage over the Massachusetts senator, also an increase over Bush’s 2000 numbers.
Despite their position as traditional Democrat voting blocs, both Hispanic groups voted for the president in part because of social issues like abortion, the poll showed.
"[S]ocial issue priorities were most important to Bush’s religious constituencies," the researchers wrote. "A majority of the top four Bush constituencies regarded social issues as very important to their vote."
Rojas told LifeNews.com he agreed.
"As the Latino population continues to grow at record pace, pro-life outreach into those communities can both help save lives and elect pro-life candidates," he concluded.
Encuesta, Inc. conducted the poll by telephone between October 11-30, 2006, among a representative national sample of 300 non-Hispanic and 300 Hispanic adults, in their language of choice. The margin of error is +/- 4.5%.