Hispanic Voters and The Economy: Moving Beyond “Opportunity”

Public Opinion Strategies conducted a set of special focus groups among Hispanic voters in Las Vegas, NV.  Each group was conducted among 12 respondents for three hours, allowing us to use different projective techniques and a much deeper dive into opinions and beliefs than traditional focus groups.  While the groups were conducted in English, they were moderated by a Spanish-speaking discussion leader.

Our focus group respondents generally felt more aligned with Democrats on economic issues.  These feelings stem from a sense that Democrats are out for the working class, while Republicans are the party of the rich.  We have heard a lot about the class divide leading up to and since this most recent election.

Participants were asked to create collages representing the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.  Much of the focus of the collage exercise was on the class divide.  Some examples of the collages are posted here.  In the simplest terms, Republicans are viewed as “hurting” while Democrats are viewed as “helping” people like themselves.

So, when Republicans start talking about the economy, we’re already behind the eight ball because whatever we are saying is being viewed through a perceptual filter not to our advantage.  These Hispanic voters assumed that whatever a Republican might say will naturally be to the advantage of the wealthy and hurt the working class.

So, we showed them a video of a portion of Governor Susana Martinez’s State of the State speech using some different language.  Not many of our respondents had heard or seen Governor Martinez from neighboring New Mexico prior to our groups.  Click here to view the clip.

The reaction?  Comments following the video segment include:

  • “I thought she was a Democrat because Republicans don’t think like that.”
  • “She sounded more like she was for the small person.”
  • “I felt like she was helping the little guy.”
  • “Surprised to hear ‘fair share.’”
  • “It signals change on their part.”

In fact, the policies that were the focal point of the speech were firmly embedded in Republican principles of lower taxes, and helping small businesses grow so they can create jobs.  But it was the language she used that went beyond the traditional opportunity refrain in common practice among Republicans.  Stressing the importance of lowering tax rates for all businesses to level the playing field with surrounding states signals equality among people, rather than government picking winners and losers.

Governor Martinez is not guaranteeing equal outcomes, but does seem to promote equal opportunity for all to be successful.  Opportunity cannot just exist for the wealthy and powerful, and right now, that is what these Hispanic voters believe.

The link Governor Martinez makes between education and the economy is also an important one.  Not only among these focus group participants, but also in surveys, Hispanic voters put a premium on education.  It is the gateway to a better life for the next generation.  The next post focuses on former Governor Jeb Bush and his education-focused message.

Click here to see other posts in this series.

Similar Articles

  • Impeachment Fever Has Hit House Democrats
    read more

  • Public Opinion Strategies Congratulates Karen Handel on Winning GA-06
    read more

  • The Democrats’ Pivot
    read more

    read more

    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com