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Comprehensive Survey Of Latinos Reveals Nuanced Political, Cultural Views

The growing Latino population supports both conservative and progressive ideas and policies.

Research on the growing Latino population has historically been difficult to capture, but a new comprehensive survey by the Texas-based Austin Institute offers a more complex picture of community values.

“There’s a high percentage of Latinos in our data that seem to be much more in ‘the middle’ in terms of their political attitudes, in terms of their likelihood of voting for either Republican or Democrat,” said researcher Dr. Gabriel Acevedo, who worked on the study. 

According to Acevedo, though Latinos were more likely to vote for progressives, surveys on economic policy showed more moderate viewpoints. He said that, at the same time, Latinos expressed an interest in becoming politically engaged. 

“Latinos are, in our data, one of the groups least likely actually to vote and to sort of participate politically,” said Acevedo, “but they are also the group that is most likely to be considering voting in the next election.”

Acevedo added that means both political parties have potential to win over Latino voters.

He also said wealthier, higher-educated Latinos tend to be more conservative, while Latino millennials were more progressive, according to data. Millennials also tended to be more socially liberal among blacks and whites, as well. 

Of the nearly 16,000 people surveyed nationwide, more than 2,600 Latinos were questioned, some 400 of them were based in Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Hispanics will become the state’s largest population group by the year 2022. Since 2010, Texas has added more than three times as many Hispanic residents as non-Hispanic whites, according to data.

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