On October 4th, 2012, we released the results of a new poll of California Latino voters on their environmental values, which found that two-thirds of Latino voters identify as conservationists and overwhelmingly believe we can “protect the environment and create jobs at the same time.” The statewide survey found Latino voters support “conservation” on a range of issues, believe we can simultaneously protect the environment and create jobs, and personally identify with conservation as a value.
Overall, the statewide survey found Latino voters support “conservation” on a range of issues, believe we can both protect the environment and create jobs and do not view any conflict between those two objectives, and indicate a personal identification with conservation as a value. Notably:
- Latino voters overwhelmingly agree (90 percent) that we can “protect the environment and create jobs at the same time”, with 69 percent in strong agreement with that statement while only eight percent disagree and the remaining two percent are undecided;
- Two-thirds of Latino voters (66 percent) consider themselves “conservationists”, with nearly three out of 10 (28 percent) strongly self-identifying as conservationists;
- Toxic pollution (85 percent serious problem, 54 percent very serious problem), water pollution (80 percent serious problem, 43 percent very serious problem), and “pollution threatening your family’s health and well being” rate as the top environmental concerns among Latinos;
- Nearly two-thirds of Latino voters (65 percent) believe conserving our fish and wildlife habitats is a serious concern—noticeably higher than other groups of voters in California;
- A quarter of Latinos (25 percent) have at least one household member suffering from asthma, and these voters are even more concerned about toxic pollution affecting their family’s health as well as other conservation issues;
- In continuing the strong support for conservation theme, nearly all Latinos support energy conservation (96 percent support, 65 percent strongly support);
- Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are also very popular (91 percent support, 68 percent strongly);
- Conversely, Latinos show far lower support for polluting energy sources, with a majority of Latinos opposing drilling off the California coast (51 percent oppose).
- Read the poll results (PDF)
- Read the press release
- Read about our statewide forums to discuss the poll results
In 2001, CLCV Education Fund conducted the first-ever survey of California Latinos’ environmental attitudes. Refreshing that data will not only expand and enhance the conservation community’s understanding of how those concerns have evolved, it will also allow us to communicate more effectively with Latino voters vis-à-vis programs that amplify their voice and increase democratic participation.
In order to better understand which issues and messages will have the most resonance with the Latino community, CLCV Education Fund conducted the poll using a sample size that enables analysis of variations among key Latino demographic and geographic sub-groups, by oversampling strategic regions of the state where Latinos represent a significant and fast-growing segment of the electorate. These regions include the Central Valley, the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) and San Diego and Imperial counties.
The survey will:
• Discern how Latinos view the environment in comparison to other pressing issues, such as jobs and the economy, education and budget cuts to schools, the state budget deficit, taxes, immigration among other topics;
• Deepen our understanding of how Latinos perceive environmental and conservation issues ranging from air pollution, water pollution, climate change, toxic waste, the availability of water, transportation and smart growth, green jobs, endangered species and habitat, to renewable energy and fossil fuels;
• Explore how environmental advocates can effectively bridge the “Latino Performance Gap” and counter attacks from industry groups that use scare tactics emphasizing how environmental protection laws hurt the economy and cost jobs;
Regional oversamples will delve into deeper detail on local issues, including:
• Measuring current attitudes about both the quantity and quality of the water supply, how
Latinos view the current debate over water with particular attention paid to the conflict
between agricultural interests and environmentalists over water use, the use of pesticides on farms and the impact they have on the water supply, and other issues of interest;
• Testing messages to determine how to effectively communicate a conservation message to Latinos. For example, in the Central Valley we will investigate at length Latino voters’ attitudes regarding water. This is a major issue in that part of the state and has serious political and economic implications;
• Testing messengers to find out which groups and individuals have the most credibility in delivering a conservation message to Latinos;
• Surveying and analyzing media habits as well as where Latino voters get their news and information especially regarding the environment;
• Collecting demographic information so we can analyze segments of the Latino electorate and identify differences based upon demographic and geographic traits.