September 29, 2022

Poll finds battleground state Latinos support gun control, abortion rights

As Republicans seek to make further inroads with Latino voters in the midterms, a left-leaning nonprofit group is out with a new poll showing Latinos are worried about mass shootings and abortion access — two key issues for Democrats this year.

The poll conducted for Voto Latino, which surveyed Latino voters across seven battleground states, found 86 percent of respondents said mass shootings are “either a crisis or major issue” in the United States. Seventy-one percent said such events worried them “a lot” or “some.”

Results come on the heels of the May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a predominantly Hispanic city. In addition, most respondents supported gun safety laws including background checks, safety training and requiring safe home storage. A smaller majority supported policies like prohibiting concealed carry or banning sales of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

Six in 10 of respondents said their own state’s gun laws were not restrictive enough, and they identified limited mental health resources, gun laws and culture as factors that contributed to mass shootings in their home state.

The poll was run for Voto Latino from June 2-7 by Change Research, contacting 1,033 registered voters in seven states: Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

On abortion, the survey found 68 percent of Latinos believed abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 10 percent said abortion should be illegal in all cases. A majority of Latinos surveyed said they were paying attention to the Supreme Court draft opinion that indicated Roe v. Wade could be overturned, and 64 percent said they were more motivated to vote in the general election because of the incoming decision.

Abortion has played a key factor in a number of recent races, including the Democratic primary campaign for Texas’ majority-Latino 28th District, where immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros narrowly lost to incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar. One of the sole anti-abortion Democrats in Congress, Cuellar has said he believes his views on abortion match those of his constituents. However, no recent district-specific polling shows how residents of the area feel on issues like reproductive rights.

During her campaign, Cisneros countered by saying opinions among Latinos have been changing in the district. The Voto Latino poll found women and voters under 35 more strongly support abortion rights.

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