The Democratic advantage among Latino voters has shrunk by half in the past decade, according to an NBC News/Telemundo poll released Sunday.
Fifty-four percent of Latino voters surveyed said they preferred Democrats to be in charge of Congress, compared with 33 percent who would prefer Republicans. That gap — now 21 points — was a 42 point difference in October 2012, according to NBC News/Telemundo.
The question of party preference has slid fairly steadily in the past decade, with a 26-point gap in October 2020, a 34 point gap in November 2018 and a 38-point gap in October 2016.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating in the latest NBC News/Telemundo poll was 51 percent, and his disapproval rating was 45 percent. Latina women, as well as Catholic Latinos and older Latinos, were generally more supportive of Biden, according to the poll.
A majority of voters surveyed said they disapproved of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, signaling support for abortion rights. However, opinion on the decision varied widely by party, with far more Democrats signaling disapproval than Republicans — 75 percent to 22 percent.
Most Latino evangelical Christian voters said they approved of the decision that ended the constitutional right to an abortion, and most Latino Catholic voters disapproved of it, according to the survey.
In the largely religious, Hispanic region of South Texas, a handful of Democratic candidates have avoided campaigning on abortion to the extent of other Democratic candidates across the country, POLITICO previously reported. Republicans are looking to continue carving inroads with Latino voters in the same region.
More voters said they thought Democrats were better at handling abortion than Republicans, at 50 percent to 23 percent. But Republicans held a perceived advantage on handling the economy and crime, with a 4-point and 10-point lead on those issues, respectively.
Julio Vaqueiro, a Telemundo anchor, emphasized on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that there wasn’t just “one Latino vote.”
“We talk a lot about that, but I don’t think it’s always understood,” Vaqueiro said. “Latinos are just like any other ethnic group. It’s important where they live, it’s important their age, where they come from, how they go to this country.”
The NBC News/Telemundo poll was conducted Sept. 17-26 among 1,000 Latino registered voters. The poll has an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.