President Joe Biden has a Latino problem.
That’s a takeaway from a new poll that The LIBRE Institute recently published. The poll examines the U.S. Hispanic community’s attitude to a host of policy issues, and the results highlight a challenge — and an opportunity — facing all politicians: One of America’s largest and fastest-growing voting groups is deeply dissatisfied with the status quo.
Politicians ignore the Hispanic community at their peril. It’s contributed the most to U.S. population growth over the last few years, and a new Hispanic becomes eligible to vote every 30 seconds. And Hispanics don’t just live in a few pockets of the country — they are moving to every corner.
Hispanics Aren’t a Single-Issue Group
While it is true that Hispanics care deeply about immigration, it isn’t true that they are a single-issue group. According to our poll, Hispanics care the most about inflation, and economic issues more generally are top of mind. Beyond inflation, jobs and the economy are the most important issues, regardless of party or ideological affiliation.
And LIBRE’s poll tells us that Latinos sense something is deeply wrong with the economy. Nearly four out of five Hispanics have a negative view of the economy, and 71% say the country is on the wrong track. Drilling more deeply, 84% say inflation has hurt their quality of life.
These figures help explain Hispanics’ attitude toward Biden: A majority disapprove of his job performance, while he is underwater with independent Hispanics by 28 points.
But most alarmingly, the pessimistic attitudes are most prevalent among younger voters. When asked if they agree that the country is declining and that their children will have more limited opportunities, 70% of retirement-age Hispanics agree. Still, a remarkable 85% of those 18 to 34 agree. That means six out of every seven young Latino voters think the country is declining.
Those disillusioned voters will be a force not only in the coming presidential and congressional elections but for decades to come. Politicians from both parties can appeal to this group by offering policy solutions that will genuinely improve their lives instead of treating them like an interest group.
Hispanics Relish Freedom, Seek Opportunity
Our years of experience working with Latinos have taught us that Hispanics want policies that advance freedom and opportunity for everyone. The same policies that will tame inflation — restrained government spending, reduced regulations, budgetary reform — are the same policies that will give Hispanics and all Americans the greatest opportunity to pursue the American dream.
Biden’s policies of heavy regulation and reckless spending have driven the inflation that has hurt so many Latinos. Hispanics can’t take more Bidenomics.
Instead, they want policies that promote freedom and opportunity. The LIBRE Initiative believes that a thriving and free economy paves the road to widespread prosperity, and to that end, we support several specific reforms that would increase access to capital, cut red tape, and boost investment in rural America.
LIBRE also supports initiatives to unlock America’s energy potential, make affordable healthcare available, and modernize the U.S. immigration system. These policy initiatives will attract substantial Latino support because they will improve the quality of life for everyone, including Hispanics.
The reality is that both major political parties have largely ignored Latino voters. In the last two election cycles, three out of five registered Latino voters were not contacted by politicians.
But as this polling shows, that is a mistake. Not only are Latinos a growing force in American politics, but they cannot be co-opted or taken for granted. Latinos care about the economy, healthcare, and education — just to name a few. We want to see a stronger country for our children.
LIBRE will continue to support and represent the Hispanic community through education and research. And the message that we hear from our communities is straightforward.
We are not beholden to either particular party. We want to see solutions that promote prosperity and freedom. And we vote.
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