Survey Finds Hispanics Optimistic About Direction of the Country and their Futures
Hispanics Say Democrats Represent Their Views
Republican Candidates Who Court Hispanics Win High Approval Ratings
The following is a summary of the the results of a poll conducted by Univision:
LOS ANGELES, April 22 -- In what may be the first major bipartisan poll of registered Hispanic voters in major markets nationwide, Hispanics in the United States reveal strong optimism about their futures and by a newly 2 to 1 margin express confidence that the country is on the right track. Democratic pollster Mark Penn and Republican pollster Mike Deaver authored the survey for Univision Communications Inc., a nonpartison television-broadcating company. The results of the study will be presented at "The Power of the Hispanic Vote," a conference sponsored by Univision at the ANA Hotel in Washington, DC, on Thursday, April 23.
Outpacing the positive attitudes of the country as a whole, the majority of Hispanics express satisfaction with both the economy (68% versus 60% for the country as a whole, according to previously published polls) and their personal economic situations (78%). They also give a strong vote of confidence to President Clinton (82% job approval) and say they intend to vote in the 1998 election (94%).
More Hispanics feel that the Democratic Party reaches out to them (47%) and represents their views (62%). Many Hispanics feel the Republican Party ignores them (41%). However, they also identify with traditionally Republican issues, such as crime and violence (most important to 17%), the weakening of traditional family values (most important to 16%) and the quest for economic opportunity (most important to 11%).
The study reveals high approval numbers for Republicans who have aggressively courted Hispanics, such as Texas Governor George W. Bush (81%) and Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (66%). By contrast, California Governor Pete Wilson, who has aggressively fought illegal immigration, has an approval rating of 26%. The findings suggest that Republicans can make inroads to Hispanics in time for the 1998 elections but must reach out to them.
Other highlights of the poll:
* 81% are optimistic about the future for Hispanics in the United States; three in four parents think their children will be better off economically than they are.
* 45% feel their personal economic situation had improved in the last year, and 58% expect it will continue to improve.
* Over 90% of Hispanics place importance on sustaining the Spanish language and preserving Hispanic heritage and traditions.
* 83% of Hispanics support bilingual education programs.
* 61% say it is very important that a political candidate communicate to Hispanic voters in Spanish.
* 97% of Hispanics place high importance on education; 92% consider sending their children to college to be highly important.
* Hispanics think Democrats have better solutions then the GOP on a range of issues, including the economy (58%-27%), education (57%-25%), taxes (50%- 28%) and crime (44%-33%).
* Hispanics strongly support issues championed by Republicans, including school prayer (73%) and school vouchers (84%), indicating that Republicans may be able to appeal to Hispanic voters by effectively communicating their positions an such issues.
* 56% of Hispanics support statehood for Puerto Rico, with support somewhat weaker among Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin (48%). 49% of Hispanics favor lifting or lightening the embargo on Cuba. 51% of Hispanics of Cuban origin, compared to 39% of all Hispanics, support maintaining or strengthening the embargo.
Mark Penn, President of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and co-author of the survey, said that the findings demonstrate the growing importance of Hispanics in the American political process. "Hispanics provide a crucial swing vote in some of the nation's biggest states. Our findings about their optimism and confidence regarding their future reveal a clear opportunity for political candidates to broaden their base of support."
Added Michael K. Deaver, Edelman Worldwide vice chairman and former deputy chief of staff to President Reagan: "Despite Hispanics' overwhelmingly bright outlook, these numbers clearly show that both parties need to work for their votes. I don't think Hispanics are predestined to vote for any particular party, but each party must show that they care about issues important to Hispanics."
Messrs. Penn and Deaver will present the full results of the poll at "The Power of the Hispanic Vote" conference to be hosted by Univision on April 23. For more information on the conference, call Scott Roskowski at 212-455-5266.
The Univision poll of 750 respondents of Hispanic origin in seven major U.S. media markets was conducted between April 5 and 18, 1998, by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and Eldelman Public Relations Worldwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.6 percent at the 95% confidence level.
Univision Communications Inc. (NYSE: UVN) is the leading Spanish-language television broadcaster in the United States. Its operations include the Univision Network, the most popular Spanish-language broadcast network in the U.S.; the Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 13 full-power and eight low-power television stations, including full-power stations in 12 of the top 15 Hispanic markets; and Galavision, the most-watched Spanish- language cable network in the country. Covering 92 percent of all U.S. Hispanic households through its owned-and-operated stations, 27 broadcast affiliates and 832 cable affiliates, Univision airs 20 of the top 20 national programs as ranked by Nielson Hispanic Television Index. Univision will broadcast all 64 games of the 1998 World Cup.