It's the Economy, Stupid: Abortion Is Seventh-Ranking Issue for Hispanic Voters, New Poll Shows

Findings cast doubt on effectiveness of Democrats' abortion-centric midterm messaging

October 25, 2022

Abortion is the seventh most important issue for Hispanic voters, a poll obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows, suggesting Democrats' abortion-centric messaging may fall flat with the crucial voting bloc.

Hispanics rank cost of living and inflation, jobs and the economy, health care, crime, climate change, and immigration as more pressing issues than abortion, according to the WPA Intelligence poll, which surveyed 1,288 Hispanic voters nationwide. Abortion sits at seventh, tied in importance with taxes and government spending. And while Democrats still hold a solid advantage with Hispanic voters on a national scale, the poll shows, that advantage narrows considerably among Hispanic voters who cite inflation, the economy, and crime among their top concerns.

The poll's findings will likely concern Democrats, who have centered their midterm election pitch on abortion in an attempt to win over Latinos. In Nevada, for example, embattled Democratic senator Catherine Cortez Masto is running Spanish-language ads on abortion, even as voters in the state overwhelmingly identify the economy as their top issue. Hispanic voters are expected to tip the scales in that race—roughly 20 percent of Nevada midterm voters will be Latino come November, according to a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials report.

Cortez Masto has long relied on Hispanic voters to drive her electoral success. In 2016, the Democrat won 61 percent of the Latino vote, exit polls show. Six years later, just 49 percent of Hispanic voters back Cortez Masto, an October USA Today poll found. Latinos are also ditching Democrats on a national level—according to WPA Intelligence's poll, Democrats hold a 21-point generic ballot lead with Hispanic voters nationwide. Just four years ago, that lead was 40 points, according to the survey.

The WPA Intelligence poll also shows that Hispanics overwhelmingly support limits on abortion. Eighty-five percent of Hispanics "favor limiting abortions to 15 weeks or earlier in a pregnancy," the survey found, and "few Hispanics support elective abortions after the point of fetal viability." Fifty-six percent of Hispanic voters, meanwhile, say the nation is "off on the wrong track" under President Joe Biden, according to the poll.

Republicans have invested heavily in Hispanic voter outreach ahead of the 2022 midterms. In April, the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched its "Vamos" initiative, a multimillion-dollar outreach plan targeting Latino voters in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. On Oct. 19, the committee announced it had contacted more than 1.4 million Hispanic voters through the initiative.

"Democrats seem confused as Hispanic Americans move away from their party in droves. But for these voters, the choice couldn't be more clear," committee chairman Rick Scott said in a statement. "Hispanics are fed up with Joe Biden and the Democrats who are destroying our country, the economy, and making our communities less safe."