Preference for ‘other candidate’ tops support for Trump among Latinos

Clinton maintains strong lead in U.S., Florida and Miami-Dade

Hispanic Voters

While Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton maintains a strong lead among Hispanic voters nationally, preference for the category of “other candidate” has surpassed support for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election for the second week in a row, according to the New Latino Voice voter poll.

Fourteen percent of survey respondents said they would vote for an unnamed “other candidate” if the election were held today, while 11 percent chose Trump, according to the weekly public opinion poll conducted by FIU in partnership with Adsmovil, a mobile advertising company that specializes in reaching Latinos in the U.S.

“The explanation for these results may lie mainly in those Republican voters who do not like Mr. Trump and who will not vote for Mrs. Clinton either,” said Eduardo Gamarra, political science professor at FIU and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. The Forum is a project of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the first university initiative in Florida to systematically study the growth and impact of the Latino population.

“At the national level, we are seeing a higher preference for ‘other candidate’ in the 65 and over age group – 32 percent – as well as among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 16 percent,’’ Gamarra added.

The first New Latino Voice poll of voters in Miami-Dade this week showed slightly stronger support for Clinton among Latinos than in the rest of Florida – 74 percent to 73 percent statewide. Eighteen percent of respondents in Miami-Dade preferred Trump while 8 percent chose “other candidate.” Statewide, Trump slightly trails “other candidate” with 14 percent support compared to 13 percent.

Since March, FIU and Adsmovil have conducted 20 weekly polls, reaching more than 200,000 Hispanics in the U.S. through their mobile phones.

The Latino Public Opinion Forum builds upon FIU’s long-running Cuba Poll by broadening the scope of inquiry to other rapidly growing Latino populations, including Central Americans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. The initiative reaches Hispanics through social media, online forums and mobile technology, as well as traditional survey methods such as focus groups, face to face and telephone interviews.

“Latinos are now the largest minority group in the electorate and will likely be key in deciding the next president of the United States,’’ said Brian Fonseca, director of the Gordon Institute in the Green School. “The importance of Latinos in shaping public policy will only increase over time, reaching nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2050.”