Inflation, Wages and Health Care are Top Concerns for Hispanic Floridians Going into Tuesday’s Primary Elections

MIAMI, Fla.— Heading into Florida’s presidential primary elections on Tuesday, March 19, UnidosUS – the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization – is highlighting the priorities of Florida’s Latino electorate as a part of the largest national poll this election cycle on the views of Hispanic voters. Latinos are the second largest voting-age population in this competitive state and a key factor in electoral contests at the local, state and federal levels. Poll results show top-of-mind concerns for Latino voters in Florida are cost of living, wages and access to affordable health care. 

“Hispanics in Florida accounted for more than 18% of votes cast in 2020, a year when the presidential margin of victory was just 3.3 percentage points. In 2024, it is expected that 1 in 4 Latinos casting a ballot will be doing so for the first time in a presidential election, making it imperative for candidates to engage these voters. Adding to that equation the fact that there are still more than 1.5 million Latino Floridians in need of registration, and that once registered more than 85% vote in presidential elections, it is clear that early and effective outreach pays off,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Vice President of the UnidosUS Latino Vote Initiative. 

“This is a wake-up call for both parties: Florida Hispanic voters are frustrated at the lack of progress on issues impacting the community, particularly pocketbook issues,” said Jared Nordlund, UnidosUS Florida State Director. “The affordable housing crisis has risen to one of the top priorities, and we hear it on the ground from voters who say they are getting priced out of housing and many more who are dealing with crippling property insurance premiums that are making Florida more unaffordable by the day. This poll continues to affirm that Latino voters want to see candidates who will improve wages, protect health care programs and expand Medicaid, and reject hate groups.”  

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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 Florida’s Hispanic electorate. 

On the issues:  

  • Economy: Four of the top five concerns for Florida’s Hispanic voters are dominated by economic and pocketbook issues, specifically inflation and the rising cost of living, wages, health care costs and housing affordability. Notably, housing rose to the top five concerns as a stand-alone issue for the first time and is also a significant driver behind inflation concerns. 
  • Gun violence: The fourth highest-ranked issue priority, and 67% believe it is too easy to access guns and assault weapons. 
  • Immigration: Tied with affordable housing for the fifth highest-ranked issue priority, the greatest focus is on providing pathways to citizenship for DACA-recipients and other immigrants with long-standing ties in the country. 
  • Medicaid: 79% of Hispanic Floridians support using federal funds to extend Medicaid coverage to include more working adults without health insurance. 
  • Abortion: 65% believe it is wrong to make abortion illegal or to take that decision away from others, no matter their own personal beliefs on the issue.  

On voting: 

  • In 2024, 19% of Florida’s Latinos will be voting in a presidential election for the first time.  
  • 35% of Florida’s Hispanic electorate is new since Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in 2016.