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New poll on Latino attitudes shows Florida more focused on economy than immigration reform


Latinos in Florida said the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address is the economy -- a slight difference from respondents in other states, who put immigration reform tops, according to a new poll.

Asked about the 2014 midterm elections, Latinos in Florida ranked the economy and jobs tops; of Florida respondents, 46 percent ranked it as one of the most important issues, and 39 percent said immigration reform was. Health care/Medicaid was third, at 19 percent, and education was right behind at 18 percent.

Respondents were able to select more than one item. They were asked: “Thinking about the 2014 election, what are the most important issues facing the (Hispanic/Latino) community that our politicians should address?”

In every other state highlighted, Latinos put immigration reform tops, followed by jobs and the economy. Nationally, 45 percent of respondents selected immigration reform, and 34 percent picked the economy.

The poll was conducted by Latino Decisions, a research firm that has previously explored Latino attitudes and voting trends. The poll was sponsored by several organizations. It involved nearly 5,000 Latino voters nationwide and in the pivotal 2014 states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.

Other results are scheduled to be released Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Respondents were also asked to “think about all the people in your family, your friends, co-workers and other people you know” and say if any of them are undocumented immigrants.

Among Florida respondents, 43 percent said yes, they do know somebody who is undocumented. Nationally, 58 percent said yes. Florida’s share of yes votes was the smallest of the 10 states highlighted. (Among Florida Latino voters, 47 percent said no, they don’t know any undocumented immigrants, and 10 percent weren’t sure.)