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Groundbreaking new poll surveys Latino voters on Chicago’s mayoral runoff election

Focused solely on Latino registered voters in the city of Chicago—the timely polling effort, Chicago Latino Voters and the 2015 Mayoral Runoff, conducted by Latino Decisions and co-sponsored by Latino Policy Forum, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and Univision Chicago—was released Monday, March 23, 2015 at a town hall held at 541 N. Fairbanks Court.

The discussion, moderated by Univision Chicago's Luisa Echevarria, was kicked off with Dr. Sylvia Manzano, principal at Latino Decisions, presenting the findings of the poll.  

“This is groundbreaking work,” she said. “This is the first scientifically sound public opinion research designed specifically to capture the views of Chicago's Latino electorate in this mayoral election.”

The audience then got to hear from The Forum's executive director Sylvia Puente; Oscar Chacon, executive director of NALACC, and Dr. Jaime Dominguez of Northwestern University's Department of Political Science.

“No other poll conducted this season has aimed to connect directly with them or sought to gauge their perspective on critical issues,” said Dr. Dominguez. “The poll provided a way for Latinos to exercise their growing and emerging political voice.”

Although there are more than 240,000 registered Latino voters in Chicago— an increase of 25 percent since 2008—they are consistently under-polled. As Chicago faces its first mayoral runoff election in history, the new poll shows Latino voters are enthusiastic and closely following news about the candidates and issues.

The poll found Latino voters demonstrate an exceptional level of interest in April’s election. When asked how enthusiastic they were in casting a vote in the upcoming race, 85 % said they were very or somewhat enthusiastic.

“This historic election is a milestone in Latino political engagement in Chicago, it will strengthen a culture of voting among Latino residents and families,” said Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Forum.

The survey found that, similar to many voters, Latino Chicagoans priority issues are education, violence, and job creation. The poll also found that one of every five Latino voters surveyed is still undecided. 61 percent said they will vote for Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and 18 percent for Rahm Emanuel.

Findings showed nearly two out of every three Latino voters have not been asked by "anyone from a campaign, political party, or community organization" for their vote or if they were registered to vote.

“The poll clearly suggests an opportunity for both candidates to double down their efforts in reaching this community more effectively in the next few weeks,” said Oscar Chacon.

Latino Decisions surveyed a representative sample of 406 Latino registered voters in the city of Chicago March 16-20, 2015. Surveys were implemented to randomly selected phone numbers, conducted via live, person to person (i.e. not robocalls) phone calls. Respondents were reached on a combination of both landline (70 percent) and mobile phones (30 percent). All interviewers were completely bilingual. Surveys were completed in English and Spanish, according to the respondent’s choice. In total 46 percent of interviews were conducted in Spanish and 54 percent in English. The survey carries a margin of error of +/-4.8 percentage points. The full findings can be read online.

The poll was sponsored by a group of local nonpartisan organizations. “For our inaugural partnership, I am encouraged about continuing to do these kinds of polls,” said Doug Levy, general manager of Univision Chicago. “It’s clear we’re filling a void and they hold a high value not just for Latinos but for all who engage in the electoral process.”

To watch the town hall in it's entirety click here

Read more coverage from the event:

ABC7—New Poll

NBC—New Poll Suggests Both Campaigns are Ignoring Latinos

Sun-Times—Poll Shows Garcia with Huge Lead Among Latinos

Progress Illinois—New Poll Looks at Latino Perspectives in Chicago Mayoral Race

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Posted In: Representation in Government