LatinoMetrics℠, The Hispanic GPS℠, is an ongoing tracking service that monitors consumer sentiment, economic activity, political perspectives and other current issues within the burgeoning US Hispanic community. Founded by Santiago Solutions Group and Garcia Research, in its initial wave a national representative survey of roughly 600 interviews was conducted, 400 by phone and 200 online, in December 2009 with a margin of error of + or – 4%.
Health Care reform ranked as a distant fourth most important issue to Latinos compared to the top issue of the Economy & Jobs. Health Care was ranked as the top issue by only 1 in 10 Latinos versus the Economy & Jobs ranked as the top concern by 3 in 10. Ahead of Health Care reform also were Immigration reform which ranked as the top issue for 2 in 10 and Education which was rated as the most important issue by 15% of Latinos.
However, Health Care reform emerges as the second most important issue of concern after the Economy & Jobs among those registered to vote (17% versus 35%). Similarly, Health Care reform becomes the second issue of concern among those who voted in the last presidential elections. Nearly 85% of those who voted in the last Presidential elections support Health Care reform as compared to 12% who do not support it and 4% who are not sure yet.
“Undoubtedly, many Latino families are facing the brunt of the recession, thus, the Economy & Jobs are the primary issues of concern to all Latinos at the end of 2009,” says Carlos Santiago, President and Chief Strategist of Santiago Solutions Group. “Nevertheless, Health Care Reform is of major concern to Latinos who voted in the last presidential election and regardless of party affiliation, they want to see Health Care reform passed.”
Support for Health Care reform is overwhelming regardless of whether Latinos are registered Democrat or Republican and Independent, 9 in 10 Democrats provide support as well as 7 in 10 Republicans and Independents. Of those in support of Health Care reform, 2 in 3 approve of President Obama’s performance in office thus far, 12% disapprove his performance and 21% are not sure whether they approve of him or not.
The only subgroup in which Health Care reform becomes tied with the Economy & Jobs as the top issue is among Latinos between 50 and 65 years of age. Interestingly, only 9% of this subgroup is not in support of Health Care reform. Conversely, among the least likely to support Health Care reform are Latinos between 40 and 49 years in age, those residing in the Southeast and non-Mexican origin Hispanics.
Among those providing the strongest support with a 9 to 10 margin are: younger Latinos below 40 years of age; Spanish dominants; low and middle income households earning less than forty thousand annually; those living in the West, Midwest and Northeast; and Hispanics of Mexican origin.
Higher income Hispanics earning over forty thousand annually and English-dominant Latinos are somewhat more likely to constitute those “not sure”.