2022 Colorado Latino Policy Agenda
The Colorado Latino Policy Agenda is an annual, nonpartisan report designed to provide insight for elected officials, community leaders, media, and others interested in the demographic makeup and views of Latinos in Colorado on pressing policy, political, and other relevant issues.
This year’s agenda is based on the largest nonpartisan poll of Latino registered voters ever conducted in Colorado. The 2022 Colorado Latino Policy Agenda is informed by a statewide poll of 1,504 Latino registered voters, which provides a representative, nonpartisan snapshot of views of the second-largest and second fastest-growing ethnic voting bloc in the state. This report summarizes the main findings of our second annual poll, offering a valuable, ongoing look at the state of Latinos in Colorado at the statewide, regional, and congressional district levels.
Latino voters’ top priorities this year are dominated by economic concerns, likely exacerbated by the period of severe economic challenges and nationwide inflation concerns while the poll was conducted.
- A stunning 50% of respondents said their economic situation has gotten worse in the last 12 months.
- At the local or the national level, 4 of the top 5 most-important issues identified by Latino voters for elected officials to prioritize relate to economics, with “addressing the cost of living/inflation” topping the list for Congress and the President and ranking No. 2 behind “jobs and the economy” among the most important issues for local Colorado officials to address.
- Addressing gun violence and mass shootings are also among the top 5 concerns for Latinos in Colorado, ranking fourth at both the state and federal levels. And 83% of respondents said they are concerned their child could be the victim of a mass shooting.
Support for protecting reproductive health and abortion rights outnumbers support for banning abortion by a margin of 3 to 1. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the expansion of abortion and reproductive health access; and 58% said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade makes it more likely they will vote in the November midterms.
Latino voters are also very concerned about climate change and strongly support policies that will transition the state toward a clean energy economy. In addition to favoring policies that incentivize electric vehicles and solar energy (69%), there is strong support for more taxpayer investment in public transportation (60%) and housing developments that foster climate and transportation efficiency. Additionally, Latinos continue to support policies in Colorado that will address drought and clean water access. (see fig. 1) Water quality is of particular concern, given that 30% of respondents do not trust or drink the water in their homes, which increases to 40% among mobile-home residents.
As in 2021, the research in 2022 makes clear that Colorado’s Latino community continues to struggle with COVID-19. Almost twice the number of Latinos have had someone in their household become infected with the virus in 2022 (75%) relative to 2021 (43%), and 4 in 10 respondents reported that they or someone in their household suffered from long COVID, which tracks with national reporting that Latinos are among the most likely groups to develop long-term symptoms.
Latino adults in Colorado continue to support public policies that expand access to services and resources to a wider segment of the state’s population. This includes high support (83%) for expanding access to health insurance for all Colorado residents, including undocumented residents; ensuring state residents have access to safe abortion and reproductive health (68%); and a belief from 3 in 4 voters that officials must do more to address affordable housing.
Many Latinos in Colorado continue to have a personal connection to the impacts of immigration policies. Roughly half of the respondents reported that they know someone in their close personal network who is undocumented, including 17% who have a family member who is undocumented.
The Colorado Latino Policy Agenda is designed to be of high value to community leaders and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Policymakers can look to these findings to more directly engage the Latino community in policy decisions, as the research makes clear that Latinos are highly interested in being more engaged in public policy and political discussions, but often feel that their views and voices are excluded from the decision-making process. While 85% of Latino voters surveyed are likely to vote in the November 2022 election, nearly 6 out of 10 (58%) said they have not been contacted by any candidate, party representative, or community organization this year to ask their thoughts about politics or policy in Colorado.
The 2022 Colorado Latino Policy Agenda offers an opportunity for elected officials and community leaders to explore areas of agreement, work to meet the diverse needs of Latinos in the different regions of the state, and to design and deliver appropriate and timely policy solutions for the state’s growing Latino population.