weather icon Clear

Heck fares better than Trump with Nevada’s Latino voters, poll finds

Latino voters in Nevada overwhelmingly favor Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump for president, but they are less familiar with the major party candidates running to replace Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate and haven’t solidified their voting plans, according to a new poll.

Trump’s well-documented difficulties attracting Latino voters are reflected in the poll published Friday, which was commissioned by America’s Voice, a pro-immigration reform group based in Washington, D.C. Seventy-eight percent of 400 Nevada Latino voters polled from Aug. 19-30 said they held an unfavorable view of Trump, and his views on immigration would make them less likely to vote for other GOP candidates.

Rep. Joe Heck, the Republican who is running for U.S. Senate, isn’t as unpopular as the party’s standard-bearer, with 50 percent of those polled holding an unfavorable view of him.

Heck has attempted to carve out a more-nuanced position than Trump’s anti-immigration stance, which could be helping him somewhat. But there is no evidence it has reached Latino voters: Two-thirds of respondents said they didn’t know if he or his Democratic rival Catherine Cortez Masto supported or opposed Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

And while Heck isn’t in as deep a hole as Trump with Nevada’s Latinos, he’s still running well behind Cortez Masto in the key voting bloc. The poll found Latino voters favoring Cortez Masto over Heck by 61 percent to 22 percent.

Latino voters are projected to comprise 19 or 20 percent of the state electorate in November, according to UNLV political science professor David Damore. Immigration is the No. 1 issue for them followed by the economy, according to the poll. They also express strong support for President Barack Obama’s immigration policies.

Cortez Masto, the former state attorney general whose grandfather immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, has said she will work with Clinton to push for comprehensive immigration reform if she is elected.

Heck, the grandson of Italian immigrants on his mother’s side, said in July that he believes undocumented children brought to the U.S. should be provided with a path to citizenship. He wants it to come from a vote in Congress, not via an executive action. As a congressman, He has voted against Obama’s deferred action programs several times, but in 2014 was one of 26 Republicans who broke ranks to vote against an amendment to defund one of them — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“We cannot close the door on those individuals who have come forward as part of the DACA program and been given the opportunity to make a life for themselves in the only country they have ever known,” Heck said at the time.

Viridiana Vidal, director of Nevada’s Voice, the state affiliate of America’s Voice, said Latino voters’ lack of familiarity with Heck and Cortez Masto is because they have largely been focused on the race for the White House.

“We’re having problems down the ticket. When we are asking about candidates, they usually don’t know who the other candidates are,” Vidal said of the group’s recent voter outreach efforts, including door knocking.

But Heck might pay a price for his endorsement of Trump as more voters become aware of it. Sixty-eight percent of those polled — 74 percent of women and 62 percent of men — said they would be less likely to vote for Heck if they knew he was supporting Trump for president.

Other highlights from the poll, which had a 4.9 percent margin of error:

· Sixty-one percent of polled voters said they plan to vote for Democratic candidates in November, vs. 14 percent who intend to back the Republican ticket.

· Slightly more than half of the voters polled agree that stopping Trump makes it important to cast their ballot in this election.

· Nearly 70 percent said they saw Trump as having made the party more hostile toward Latinos.

· Nearly half of the Latino voters polled in Nevada said they perceive the Republican Party as not caring about their community.

· Trump’s views on immigration had less impact on Latino Republican voters. Forty-three percent of respondents said they were much more likely to vote for GOP candidates based on his views on immigration vs. 8 percent who said they were much less likely to support other party candidates. Sixteen percent said the candidate’s position had no effect.

Contact Adelaide Chen at achen@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0281. Follow@adelaide_chen on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]

EXECUTIVE TRAVEL: Forget Strip flash; some prefer lake’s panache

If you get called to a board meeting at Lake Las Vegas, you might want to bring your swimsuit. That’s the term Westin at Lake Las Vegas marketing director Matt Boland uses for upright paddleboard races, one of many team-building exercises offered regularly at the resort.

After $4,700 in live poker career winnings, James Romero, 27, wins nearly $2 million

It was a 15-year celebration of The World Poker Tour at Bellagio for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The largest field size in WPT Five Diamond’s history was created when 791 entries were tallied, and it was James Romero, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who won his first WPT title.

Auto electronics at SEMA and AAPEX: A brave new world

The Specialty Equipment Market Association celebrated its 50th annual SEMA show at Las Vegas Convention Center this month by showcasing a car culture of “do-it-yourself” garage mechanics who share a passion for customizing vehicles.