Trump effect motivating Latinos to vote: poll

Trump effect motivating Latinos to vote: poll
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Anti-Trump sentiment is making Latinos more eager to vote in 2016, according to a poll released Thursday.

America's Voice and Latino Decisions found that 48 percent of registered-voter Hispanics are more enthusiastic to cast ballots in 2016 than they were in 2012. Of that group, 41 percent attributed their enthusiasm to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE's presence in the race.

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"There’s a feeling that the Latino community is under attack, and we’re seeing that reflected in voting preferences and unfavorables toward the Republican Party. In fact, the GOP is helping to make Latino political identity more cohesive," said Sylvia Manzano, principal of Latino Decisions.

The desire to stop Trump was by far the strongest motivating factor to vote, followed by support of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE, at 16 percent, and support of Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Bill Maher defends Bernie Sanders campaign over sexual harassment allegations MORE, at 13 percent.

Support for and opposition to Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE both registered at 3 percent.

Immigration policies had a large effect on voters' approval of specific candidates and their parties. 

Trump was judged the most anti-immigrant candidate in the race, with 71 percent of respondents rating the businessman as a 1 on a 1-to-10 scale of most anti-immigrant to most pro-immigrant. As a corollary, 78 percent said Trump's immigration policies would make them less likely to vote Republican.

Cruz, who in February said "anyone here illegally that's apprehended should be deported," fared better among respondents on the scale, receiving mixed reviews. Although 16 percent rated him as a 1 — most anti-immigrant — 17 percent gave the Texan a 5, and 14 percent said they didn't know.

Only 55 percent said Cruz made them less likely to vote Republican.

"This election cycle has injected immigration into the national political debate in an unprecedented way, and this polling brings home in stark reality the fact that Latino voters feel personally targeted by Donald Trump and the Republican Party as a whole," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice.

Clinton and Sanders were more favorably rated on this scale. They were rated as most friendly to immigrants (10) by 21 percent and 16 percent of respondents, respectively.

The perception that Democratic candidates are more pro-immigrant was shown to help their party with the Latino electorate: 64 percent said they were more likely to vote Democratic because of Clinton's views, and 63 percent said the same of Sanders.

Hispanic voters were also shown to have split views on what policies affect the country as a whole and which affect the Latino community specifically.

Asked what issues were most important for the next president and Congress, 36 percent of respondents chose the economy, followed by 29 percent for immigration.

Regarding issues affecting Latinos specifically, 41 percent said immigration and 24 percent the economy.

Pew Research estimated that a record 27.3 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote in 2016, but anti-Trump enthusiasm might not be enough to counter the demographic's traditionally low impact on elections.

Turnout among Hispanics is usually low, particularly among millennials — almost half of eligible Latino voters — and many live in states that are not battlegrounds, such as California or Texas.