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FAU poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump among Hispanics in Florida 53-34%

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Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump among Hispanics in Florida, 53 percent to 34 percent, according to a new survey by conducted the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative released on Thursday.

The organization polled where Latinos stand in the presidential race in five key battleground states: in addition to Florida, Hispanic voters in Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina were included polled from September 15-September 19.

As has been the case in other polls, Clinton’s lead with the Latino vote is slightly slimmer than the margins that President Obama received in his victories in Florida in 2008 and 2012. In ’08 Obama received 57 percent of Hispanic support. In the 2012 election, he won 60 percent.

That is also the case in the other four polls included in the survey, with the biggest drop-off in Hispanic support coming in Nevada. Clinton is currently getting just 54 percent of the vote there against Trump (who gets 25 percent support), whereas Obama received a whopping 76 percent of their votes in ’08 and 71 percent in 2012.

“Hispanics are one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Republicans cannot continue to underperform with them and maintain a realistic ability to win some of these battleground states,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “The electoral map becomes increasingly difficult for Republicans if they cannot narrow these large margins.”

Hispanics in every state view Clinton as the better candidate to handle all the major election issues they were polled on, including: the economy, education, terrorism/national security, healthcare, immigration and treatment of minorities.  However, when Hispanic voters were asked about the Affordable Care Act, a majority of the electorate in four of the five states (Colorado being the exception) favor repealing it. The respondents who want to repeal Obamacare support Trump by double-digit margins.

“Clinton is doing well among young Hispanic voters, now she has to motivate them to go out and vote,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “The Affordable Care Act, however, is hurting Clinton in four of the states and might be used as a wedge issue by Trump to improve his position in those states.”

The poll was conducted in English and Spanish from Sept. 15-19. Each state sample consisted of 400 registered Hispanics with a margin of error of +/-4.9 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

In Florida, the pollsters surveyed 173 Democrats, 155 Republicans, 70 independent voters and one Libertarian voter.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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