Republicans have made significant inroads with Hispanic voters in recent elections, garnering support from a significant portion of Democrats’ base, according to a poll released Sunday just weeks before the November elections.
A new NBC/Telemundo survey finds that 54% of Hispanic respondents said they prefer Democrats in control of Congress and 33% said the same for Republicans. The Democrats’ 21-percentage-point advantage marks a steady decline from earlier surveys.
In previous NBC/Telemundo polls, Democrats enjoyed a 26-point lead in October 2020, a 34-point lead in November 2018, a 38-point lead in October 2016 and a 42-point lead in October 2012.
In the current survey, there were mixed reviews of President Biden: 51% of Hispanic voters approved of his performance and 45% disapproved.
Republicans outpace Democrats when it comes to the pillars of the GOP’s agenda: the economy, border security and crime. Democrats score higher marks than their GOP colleagues by roughly 2:1 on handling abortion, addressing concerns of the Hispanic community and protecting democracy and health care.
On the issues of foreign policy, 42% approve of Mr. Biden on border security and immigration, and 41% approve of his job on the economy.
“While Latinos continue to lean toward the Democratic Party and prefer Democratic control of Congress, Republicans have a higher share of the vote than we’ve measured previously,” Democratic pollster Aileen Cardona-Arroyo of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with GOP pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, told NBC.
There were significant differences among Democratic Hispanics when it came to geography, religion and gender. California Hispanics (D+30), Hispanic women (D+29) and Catholic Hispanics (D+27) were more likely to want Democrats controlling Congress than Florida Hispanics (D+7), Hispanic men (D+9) and non-Catholic Hispanics (D+15).
Seeing the writing on the wall ahead of the midterm elections, Democrats in August launched a six-figure outreach effort to try and beat back GOP advances with minorities.
The campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has sought to reach Hispanic voters by tying Republicans to the U.S. Capitol attack and baseless claims that the election was stolen.
The NBC /Telemundo survey was conducted Sept. 17-26 among 1,000 Hispanic registered voters, 75% of whom took it in English and 25% who took it in Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
• Mica Soellner contributed to this report.