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Education is Top Issue for Latino Voters

By Katherine Leal Unmuth
Latino Ed Beat

Education hasn’t been one of the top issues being discussed in the run up to the presidential election. But for Latino voters, it is perhaps the most important issue.

A recent survey by the Pew Hispanic Center shows just how important. Pew surveyed 1,765 Latino adults from throughout the country by telephone between Sept. 7 and Oct. 4. The group included 903 registered voters.

About 55 percent of Latino registered voters said education was extremely important to them, followed closely by jobs. Only about 34 percent of Hispanic voters said immigration was extremely important.

About 89 percent of the Latino adults surveyed (and 86 percent of registered Latino voters) said they supported President Obama’s deferred action plan, which will allow undocumented immigrant youth who grew up in the United States and meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally to study and apply for work permits. About 31 percent of Hispanic adults (and 26 percent of Latino registered voters) said they know someone who has applied for deferred action.

The same survey found that 69 percent of the Latino registered voters surveyed supported President Obama and 21 percent supported Mitt Romney.

This isn’t the first time a survey has found education to be a top concern. A poll by the Federation for Children and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options released in May found that 58 percent of Latinos agreed that “we need to hear more from the presidential candidates on how they will improve education.”

For registered voters, the margin of error was plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

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