POLLS

Jobs, Education Trump Immigration For Latino Voters, Survey Says

To many Latino voters, access and quality of education is a more important issue than immigration reform.
National Journal
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Stephanie Czekalinsk
May 15, 2012, 1:41 p.m.

Des­pite the at­ten­tion im­mig­ra­tion gets, likely Latino voters think the eco­nomy and edu­ca­tion are more im­port­ant, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of 1,400 likely voters in five states with large num­bers of His­pan­ic and Latino res­id­ents.

Among likely Latino voters, edu­ca­tion was the second most im­port­ant is­sue after jobs and the eco­nomy, said Al­berto Collazo, com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or for HCREO dur­ing a press con­fer­ence Tues­day in Wash­ing­ton.

The poll sur­veyed res­id­ents of Ari­zona, Flor­ida, New Jer­sey, New Mex­ico, and Nevada.

The His­pan­ic Coun­cil for Re­form and Edu­ca­tion­al Op­tions and the Amer­ic­an Fed­er­a­tion for Chil­dren, col­lab­or­ated to pro­duce the sur­vey on voter at­ti­tudes to­ward edu­ca­tion. Both groups ad­voc­ate for an ex­pan­sion of school vouch­er pro­grams and pub­lic fund­ing for charter schools.

The sur­vey also showed wide sup­port for those pro­grams. More than two-thirds of those sur­veyed said they be­lieved that “choice and com­pet­i­tion among school im­proves edu­ca­tion.” More than a quarter said they thought it hurt edu­ca­tion.

Collazo urged politi­cians - par­tic­u­larly those run­ning for pres­id­ent - to make their po­s­i­tions on edu­ca­tion part of the polit­ic­al de­bate.

The gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion also con­siders it im­port­ant to im­prove the qual­ity of kinder­garten to 12 edu­ca­tion. It ranked be­hind the eco­nomy and jobs and on par with re­du­cing the budget de­fi­cit, ac­cord­ing to the poll.

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