WASHINGTON — Joe Biden leads Donald Trump among Latino voters by about a 2-1 margin days before the presidential election, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll.
The poll finds that 62 percent of Latinos support Biden, while 29 percent support Trump. In 2016, according to exit polls, Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory among Latinos was 66 percent to 28 percent.
Still, their engagement in the election lags behind other voter groups, which could be a warning sign for Democrats hoping to bank Latino votes for Biden and other Democratic candidates in key battleground states like Arizona, Florida and Texas. Sixty-seven percent say their interest in the election ranks a 9 or a 10 out of 10, compared with 87 percent of white voters and 80 percent of Black voters.
The oversample of Latino voters was conducted in conjunction with the NBC/WSJ national poll fielded October 29-31, 2020. The margin of error for 410 interviews is +/- 4.84 percentage points.
The survey shows a significant gender gap that outpaces even the wide differences between male and female voters in the country as a whole. Among Hispanic women, 71 percent back Biden and just 19 percent support Trump.
The president performs far better with Hispanic men, (Among all voters, Biden leads with women by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin.)with 42 percent backing him, while 51 percent support Biden.
“When we think about who the Democratic base is among Hispanics, really we’re talking about Latinas,” said pollster Aileen Cardona-Arroyo of Democratic firm Hart Research, which conducted the survey with Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.
Nearly two-thirds of Latino voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus
Thirty-two percent of Latinos approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 59 percent disapprove. Nearly half, 47 percent, disapprove strongly.
Latino voters have particularly harsh reviews of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Among all voters, 40 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, while 57 percent disapprove. But among Latinos, who have been disproportionately affected by both the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus, just 28 percent approve of his handling of the crisis, while nearly two-thirds — 64 percent — disapprove.
As he does with the national electorate, Trump performs far better on economic issues, with 49 percent of Latinos approving of his handling of the economy, compared to 39 percent who disagree.
Still, Latinos view the virus as a more pressing issue, with 46 percent saying it is more important in their vote choice than the economy, compared to 34 percent who prioritize the latter.
And 59 percent say the worst of the virus is yet to come, with just 22 percent saying the worst is over and 9 percent saying it is not much of a problem at all.
In addition to their negative assessment of his job performance, these voters’ personal rating of Trump is underwater, too, with just 28 percent saying they have a favorable view of Trump, while 58 percent view him unfavorably.
In contrast, 51 percent view Biden favorably and 25 percent view him unfavorably. About one in five say they have a neutral view of the former vice president.
72 percent of Latinos plan to vote early
About seven-in-ten Latino voters — 72 percent — say they plan to vote early, with 58 percent saying they have already done so.
Thirty-one percent say they have voted by mail (27 percent) or plan to do so (four percent). Another 41 percent say they have voted early in person (31 percent) or plan to (10 percent).
Just 22 percent say they plan to vote at the polls on Election Day. That’s compared with 28 percent of voters as a whole.
Latinos are about as likely as other groups to have confidence in the election results. Fifty-four percent say they believe the results will be counted fairly, compared with the same share — 54 percent — of Black voters and 51 percent of whites.
Asked specifically about their own ballot, 78 percent of Latinos say they’re confident that it will be counted, compared with 81 percent of Black voters and 87 percent of whites.
The poll of Latino voters was conducted in conjunction with the NBC/WSJ national poll fielded October 29-31, 2020. The margin of error for 410 interviews with Latino voters is +/- 4.84 percentage points. The margin of error for the full national survey of 1000 registered voters is +/- 3.1 percentage points.