BOCA RATON, Fla., June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 23 percent among Hispanics, who see her as better prepared for improving the economy and keeping them safe from terrorism, according to a new national survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
Clinton was the choice of 50 percent of respondents, while 27 percent chose Trump and 23 percent were undecided. Clinton's greatest support was in the South, where she leads Trump 56 percent to 21 percent. Clinton is winning the female Hispanic vote 51 percent to 19 percent, as well as male Hispanics, who favor her 49 percent to 28 percent.
Hispanics view Clinton as better for the economy overall (50 to 33 percent) and keeping them safe from terrorism (56 percent to 27 percent).
"Trump has substantial ground to make up to compete effectively for Latino voters who are a major voting block in battleground states like Florida, Nevada and Colorado," said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. "The trend suggests that Latino voters will only grow in importance in this election year and may be pivotal in deciding the winner."
Lower income earners have a more favorable opinion of Clinton, with those making under $25,000 giving her 51 percent favorability, compared with 23 percent for Trump. Clinton has 40 percent favorability among middle-income earners, who give Trump 19 percent. Trump fared best among those making over $75,000, with a 26 percent favorability, but still trailed Clinton, who scored a 34 percent favorability rating.
BEPI's monthly Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index was down half a point in May at 93.5, but remains up 3.7 points from a year ago. This month's index showed that Clinton supporters had significantly higher consumer sentiment scores compared to Trump supporters (105 to 77). Hispanics who said they are voting for Clinton also scored higher on their current economic condition (113 to 90) and are more optimistic for future financial success than those voting for Trump (99 to 76).
The poll was conducted nationally May 1-29. The polling sample consisted of 500 Hispanics with a margin of error of +/- 4.33 percent and a 95 percent confidence level.