On October 4th, 2012, CLCV Education Fund 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.
- 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). Conversely, Latinos show far lower support for polluting energy sources, with a majority of Latinos opposing drilling off the California coast (51 percent oppose).;
- Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are also very popular (91 percent support, 68 percent strongly);
In 2001, CLCV Education Fund conducted the first-ever survey of California Latinos’ environmental attitudes. Refreshing that data in 2012 not only expanded and enhanced the conservation community’s understanding of how those concerns have evolved, it also allowed 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.