Posted on December 14, 2015 at 2:30 PM
Latino Voters Frustrated by Democrats and Republicans Alike, Seek Electoral Change Reveals Arizona Survey
Phoenix, AZ – December 14, 2015 - Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, released today a new independent survey that shines a harsh light on the disconnect between the real world attitudes of Latino voters in Arizona and the political system. Overwhelmingly, Latino voters feel elected officials in Arizona are failing to represent their community and their disillusionment with both Republicans and Democrats has Latinos calling for changes in the electoral system.
The majority (75%) of Latino voters polled feel elected officials are loyal to their party rather than to constituents, which may explain why 41% of Latinos in Arizona – the fastest growing population in the state – are independent, a trend that is accelerating. It’s no surprise then that 70% of independents, 71% of republicans and 62% of democrats feel their community does not have the political representation it needs.
The survey findings reveal Latinos feel they are misunderstood and that politicians from both parties fail to engage with them:
- 90% of Latinos feel their community needs new strategies and methods of empowerment.
- Education – NOT immigration – is the top issue as ranked by Arizona Latinos.
- 88% of Latinos want to see good candidates, regardless of their party and 55% of Latino voters agree they should become more active in the Republican Party.
- 67% say candidates rarely contact them, so they don’t understand their choices and 51% say they do not vote because candidates don’t care about the Latino community.
- 93% support changes to the electoral system that would foster more loyalty and accountability and are critical of government leaders for failing to bring Arizonans together across cultures.
“Latinos are tired of the dysfunction and gridlock in Arizona politics. They want representation that has the public’s interest, the Latino’s interest, at the forefront. In 2014, half of Latinos were never even contacted by candidates running for office. As a Latina millennial in Arizona, I have seen firsthand how both political parties have used our community as a political football. This poll clearly shows that Latinos are standing up and demanding change,” said Armida Lopez, Director of Latino Outreach for Open Primaries.
“I believe it is time for change in how we elect people to public office! The younger generations need something to believe in when it comes to our government system and the way we elect public officials. Unfortunately, the two major parties are guilty of catering to their base and ignoring other constituents' needs. We need an election process that will bring us together to address the issues we all care about, such as Education, Employment, Immigration, Civil Rights and many others,” added Danny Ortega, Attorney and Former Board Chair, National Council of La Raza.
Open Primaries surveyed 1,500 Latino registered voters in both English and Spanish from November 6th through November 15th, 2015. The 1,500 completed interviews were equally divided between voters who had participated in three or four of the last four elections, and voters who participated in zero, one or two of the last four elections. The interviews were then further divided in each group to properly represent Latino voter registration in each of Arizona’s nine Congressional Districts. Registered Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters were all included in the sample. The survey was conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International, renowned for their deep record of research within the American Hispanic community.
Available for Interview
Danny Ortega, attorney, community organizer and former Board Chair of National Council of La Raza (based in Phoenix, AZ)
Armida Lopez, Director of Latino Outreach for Open Primaries (based in Phoenix, AZ)
John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries (based in New York City)
Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.