Arizona Hispanic Voters Rate Democratic Party More Positively Than Biden

Today, Emerson College Polling releases the final state installment of its research initiative, “Unlocking the Hispanic Vote,” in Arizona. The project uses a combination of a statewide survey and a series of focus groups to better understand Hispanic attitudes and beliefs towards politics, policy issues, voting, and media. The Arizona study follows Texas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Georgia. Read in Spanish / Leer es Espanol.

51% of Hispanic Voters View Democratic Party Positively

A majority of Hispanic voters (51%) view the Democratic Party positively, while a plurality of Hispanic voters (45%) view the Republican Party negatively. A majority of non-registered citizens are neutral toward both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Forty-five percent of Hispanic voters view President Biden positively, whereas 56% view former President Trump negatively.

On the issues, both voters and non-registered citizens align with the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party on the issues of the economy, taxes, government sending on social programs, abortion, and immigration. On the economy, 48% of Hispanic voters say the Democratic Party most closely aligns with their views. 

While non-registered citizens do align more strongly with Democrats than Republicans, a plurality say they align with neither political party on every issue except abortion. On the issue of abortion, non-registered citizens align the strongest of all listed issues with Democrats at 27%, however a plurality of Arizona non-registered Hispanics (40%) are unsure. 

“It should be between a couple’s conversation, if abortion should be selected between them,” a non-registered male said.

In a focus group of registered Hispainc voters, when asked what comes to mind with the Democratic Party, an Independent woman in her late 20s said “gas prices are rising. It seemed like every time there’s a Democrat, the gas prices go up.” When asked why she thinks that is, she said, “when Trump was a president, gas prices were good, but now all of a sudden they’re going up. Maybe because the Republicans have some type of deal with the foreign gas fixing.”

Another Independent voter said “I think Democrats are more for equal rights. I think they’re more concerned about the coronavirus and I think they have more regulations on things.” When asked if regulations are a good or bad thing, she said, “Sometimes I think it’s bad. Sometimes I think it’s good. It’s a mix.”

Regarding which party respondents trust more to handle inflation, 37% of voters say they trust the Democratic Party, while 26% of voters trust the Republican Party. Thirty-five percent of non-registered citizens are unsure, and 26% trust neither party.

Economy is Top Concern for Arizona Hispanics; Concern over Housing Costs Frequent in Focus Groups

Overall, economic issues are the top issue for the plurality Hispanic citizens (34%). Other top issues include housing (8%), social justice issues (8%), drugs (8%), and crime (6%).  

In a focus group of voters, a Democratic mother of five described the impact of inflation on her household;,” I see the costs. I mean, going to buy a jar of mayonnaise used to cost me $6 at Costco, now almost $11. I see that everything is going up. I didn’t say it at the beginning, but I’ve been living here for 13 years, we decided to rent a few years ago and it was the worst mistake because now the house costs are extreme.”

An non-registered citizen who moved to Arizona from Indiana expressed concern over housing costs and stagnant wages: “Coming from Indiana, the jobs are about the same, the pay. You make $20 an hour here, you make $20 in Indiana, but in Indiana, rent’s $700 a month for a three bedroom. Even apartment, trailer, you’re looking about 800, 900 for a house, a smaller house. And you come over here and you’re still getting paid the same amount of money, but the houses are double? How are people surviving over here?”

An Independent woman voter in her late 20s identified housing as a top issue. “The average person can’t afford to live in this market right now. It is ridiculously high.” She continued, “for the average renter, they can’t afford to live. I’ve seen so many people posting constantly about how they’re facing homelessness.”

Duty As a Citizen Prevails as Top Reason to Vote; 35% of Non-registered Citizens Agree Their Vote “Won’t Change Anything”

A plurality of Arizona Hispanic voters (32%) say they decided to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election because they have a “duty as a citizen to vote.” The next most popular reason was because they “care about the issues” (15%). Other reasons include liking one of the candidates (13%), voting for their party’s candidate (13%), and disliking one of the candidates (11%). 

In the focus group of voters, one Democratic woman in her 60s said she is motivated to vote, and arrives early to do so, because “once you read all these proposals and you really get into the pros and the cons, that motivates me. Because, you read that and then you’re like, ‘Wow, I don’t want this or I don’t want that.’ So, it’s just a personal motivation for me, when I’m looking at the different things that the candidates or the proposals, the laws, or whatever.” She continued, “‘It’s either put up or shut up. That’s just me personally. You don’t sit here and complain if you didn’t do anything about it.”

Thirty-five percent of non-registered citizens agree with the statement that they do not vote because their “vote won’t change anything.” “I really think it’s like a big show anymore these days. And I feel like it’s already picked out before.” A non-registered man in his 30s continued, “Even at the end of the elections you’ll have all these miscounted ballots and it’s like, how did this guy already win when you already have all these ballots, and then you have your mail in ballots? And every single year or every time there’s an election, every year there’s always surplus ballots. There’s always mis-votes. There’s always votes from their deceased people all the time. So it’s like, does your vote really count though sometimes?”

Another non-registered 37-year-old woman continued, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the ones on top will always win.” She continued, “the ones with power are just always going to come out on top. That’s going to happen everywhere.”

While 37% of non-registered voters in the survey say nothing could get them to vote this November, 21% say they would if they have time, 20% for different or better candidates, and 16% if they were better informed.

Cable and Network News Prevalent Sources of Political Information

To receive political information, a plurality (49%) of Hispanic citizens turn to cable or network news, 28% consume social media for political information, and 17% turn to local news. 

A 62-year-old Democratic woman described her media consumption, “I [watch] different news stations. I watch CNN, MSNBC. I’ll do Fox because I know some of them are for this administration or that person or whatever. But when I find something personally that I feel like, okay, is that right or wrong or what? Then I do Google search different places to try to find out, okay, are more responses this way than I would believe that this is more true? So I try to find out on my own if it’s something of importance to me.”

Others commented on the negative nature of cable or network news; “I hate watching the news because I feel like it’s always so negative. When’s the last time you watched the news and it was just all good news? Usually never is,” a non-registered man in his 30s said.

Facebook is the top social media platform used for news for a quarter (25%) of respondents, followed by YouTube (14%), TikTok (11%), Twitter (8%), and Instagram (7%).  Twenty-four percent do not use social media for news. Women are twice as likely than men to use Facebook as their primary social media source, while men are twice as likely as women to name YouTube as their top social media source. 

Non-registered citizens are more likely to use TikTok and YouTube as their social media source, while voters are more likely to use Twitter. Additionally,  those that aren’t registered to vote, and those who didn’t vote in the last presidential election were more likely to cite TikTok as their most used social media news source.

Voters in the focus groups described environments of racism online. A 27-year-old Independent woman said, “On social media, people are more open to talk about how they feel because they’re not in front of that person. So I feel like people can be more racist. Racism can be thrown out there like it’s nothing.”


Survey Methodology

Data was collected from August 26-September 6, 2022 using a mixed-mode methodology of Interactive Voice Response (IVR), SMS-to- web, email, and online panels. Respondents were given the choice to take the survey in either Spanish or English. The overall sample consisted of Hispanic citizens in Arizona, n=900, with a Credibility Interval (CI), similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-  3.19 percentage points. The registered voter sample consisted of registered voters in Arizona, n=601, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-  3.94 percentage points. The non-registered citizen sample consisted of non-registered citizens in Arizona, n=299, +/- 5.62 percentage points. Data sets were weighted by region, gender, age, voter registration, and education

Focus Group Methodology

Three focus groups of participants of Hispanic ethnicity were conducted in Phoenix, Arizona in September 2022: one of Hispanic registered voters who vote (conducted in English), a second of Hispanic non-registered citizens (conducted in English), and a third of Hispanic registered voters who vote (conducted in Spanish). Recruitment was done by a recruiting company, Athena Research, and a second recruiting company, Portable Insights, was utilized for supplemental recruitment for the non-registered citizens group. Both recruiters used the same participant screener. Participants were given a $125 incentive to take part in the focus groups. The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Emerson College.