Ahead of Super Tuesday in Virginia, Cost of Living, Wages and Health Care Costs Top Concerns for Latino Voters

RICHMOND, Va. As Virginians prepare to cast their primary ballots on Super Tuesday, UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization—highlighted the heavy weight Hispanic voters are placing on economic and pocketbook issues, as evidenced by their recent poll on the views of Latino voters nationwide. The largest survey of Hispanic voters released this election cycle, its results point to deep concerns about inflation, wages, and health care costs as top of mind for many Latinos as they head to the polls this election season. 

With at least three competitive seats in the U.S. House of Representatives up for election this November, Virginia will play a significant role in shaping the thin margins for control of Congress in the next presidential term and beyond. Latino voters made up nearly 5% of Virginia’s electorate in the 2020 presidential election and are positioned to have an even greater impact on the vote in 2024, underscoring the significant need for candidates to address their top concerns: cost of living, gun violence, and an orderly and humane immigration system.  

Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Vice President of the UnidosUS Latino Vote Initiative, emphasized the importance of bringing Latino voters into the political process: “The Hispanic community has grown rapidly in Virginia, now making up more than one out of ten of all the residents within the commonwealth. These voters are heavily engaged, with more than 80% of registered Latinos casting a ballot in the 2020 presidential election, even as more than 150,000 otherwise-eligible Latinos in Virginia remain unregistered to vote. Meaningful outreach to these communities could be decisive in determining the Congressional balance of power.” 

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Full results of the poll are available in the UnidosUS Hispanic Electorate Data Hub, a newly released multidimensional platform that provides data and insights on this electorate spanning 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, jobs, healthcare, and housing affordability—which notably rose to the top five concerns for the first time. 
  • Gun violence: Concerns about gun violence remained a top-five issue for Latino voters.  
  • Abortion: 71% of Hispanic voters nationwide oppose efforts to ban abortion or to deprive other people of the right to make that decision for themselves, regardless of their own personal believes on the issue—compared to only 23% who supported such efforts. 
  • Immigration: Immigration rose to become the sixth highest-rated issue priority, with voters reporting specific interest in policies that would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and other immigrants with long-standing ties in the United States. 

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.