Ahead of Rhode Island Primaries, Latino Voters Most Concerned by Inflation, Wages, and Cost of Healthcare

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As Rhode Island residents prepare to vote in the state’s primary elections this Tuesday, UnidosUS – the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization – is highlighting the priorities Latino voters want elected officials to address. Based on the largest poll of Hispanic voters this cycle, this influential electorate wants to see action to address the rising cost of living, wages, and healthcare costs.

“Hispanics are the second largest group of voting-age Rhode Islanders, and nearly 95% of those registered cast a ballot in the last presidential election,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Vice President of the UnidosUS Latino Vote Initiative. “Candidates and parties seeking the support of these voters should reach out early and pose their solutions to the rising cost of living, low wages, and healthcare affordability, the issues that are top of mind for these voters.”

The full poll results are available in the UnidosUS Hispanic Electorate Data Hub, a multidimensional platform that provides data and insights on this electorate over the last two decades. The following outlines key findings on the Hispanic electorate.

On the issues:

  • Economy: Four of the top five concerns for Hispanic voters nationwide are dominated by economic and pocketbook issues, specifically inflation and the rising cost of living, wages, healthcare costs, and housing affordability — which notably rose to the top five concerns for the first time. 
  • Gun violence: The 4th top priority, with voters concerned about ease of access to guns and assault weapons.
  • Abortion: 71% of Latino voters believe it is wrong to make abortion illegal or take that decision away from others, no matter their own personal beliefs on the issue.
  • Immigration: While not in the top five priority issues, immigration is ranked higher than it was in 2022. Top action items include providing a path to citizenship for long-residing undocumented individuals and Dreamers; the lowest support of any issue in the battery is for finishing the wall or mass deportations.

On voting:

  • In 2024, 22% of Latinos in the United States will be voting in a presidential election for the first time.
  • 38% of the Hispanic electorate nationally will be composed of new voters since Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in 2016.