This is the second of four stories on Hispanic attitudes as captured by a survey of 400 U.S. Latinos. Throughout the next month, NBC Latino will share results of the survey and offer more insight into how Latinos perceive their role in the changing fabric of America.
An NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby survey asked Hispanics whether they would vote for a presidential candidate with a different immigration stance than their own. Of those surveyed, 42 percent say they would, 37 percent say they will not, and another 21 percent say they are not sure if they would vote for someone with a different stance on immigration.
What issues worry Latinos the most? The economy is by far the top issue – 60 percent of Latinos in the survey say the economy is their biggest worry, and 20 percent say personal finances. Nine percent of Latinos say health is their biggest worry, 5 percent say immigration, and 3 percent terrorism. Three percent are not sure.
The Hispanics in the survey are tepid when asked whether they think their views as Latinos are fairly represented in Washington. Only 11 percent say they are very fairly represented, 30 percent feel they are ‘somewhat fairly’ represented, and 31 percent ‘somewhat unfairly’ represented. Fifteen percent of Latinos think they are ‘very unfairly represented,’ and 14 percent are not sure.
A strong majority of Latinos – 70 percent – agree that the nation will have its first Hispanic president within their lifetime. About a third (31 percent) strongly agree and about four in ten (39 percent) somewhat agree. Nineteen percent of Hispanics do not think they will see a U.S. Latino president, with 16 percent somewhat disagreeing and only 3 percent strongly disagreeing. Eleven percent were not sure.
“We have now seen the first black president, we have seen the first Latina Supreme Court justice, so in a way the idea of a Latino president becomes more possible for many,” says Cristina Beltrán, PhD, an associate professor of social and cultural analysis and the Director of Latino Studies at New York University.
How long would it take to see the country’s first Latino president? Almost four in ten Hispanics (38 percent) say they expect it will take another 12 years – or three presidential terms. Thirty percent think it will take 8 years and 18 percent think it will take 24 years. Only 2 percent say even longer than that and 6 percent are not sure.