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The Pew Hispanic Center released the results of a survey on Hispanics' opinions of the news media this week. Below is a sample of the news articles written on its findings.
 
The survey can be found at http://www.pewhispanic.org/index.jsp. It is fascinating reading.
 
Pedro Celis, Ph. D.
Republican National Hispanic Assembly
Washington State Chairman
 

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

Kerry leads Bush in survey of Hispanics
WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Monday, April 19, 2004
2004 Associated Press

URL: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apelection_story.asp?category=1131&slug=Hispanics%20Campaign

(04-19) 12:53 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

Democrat John Kerry has the edge over President Bush among Hispanics but his lead is a far cry from the commanding advantage Al Gore had in the 2000 election, according to a poll released Monday.

The presumptive Democratic nominee led Bush 48 percent to 38 percent among Hispanics overall, and 52 percent to 39 percent among registered Hispanic voters who have cast ballots in past elections, according to the Pew Hispanic Center poll.

In 2000, Democrat Gore led Bush among Hispanics 62 percent to 35 percent, according to exit polls.

Hispanics represent the fastest growing minority, especially in critical swing states such as New Mexico, Florida and Nevada, and the two candidates have targeted their votes. Republican strategists say they need to increase Bush's percentage among Hispanics to 40 percent or more this year.

Gore narrowly won New Mexico in 2000; Bush won Arizona, Colorado and Nevada while capturing Florida by a razor-thin margin. Democrats typically have an advantage among Mexican Americans in Western states, while Republicans tend to fare better among Cuban Americans, who make up almost half of the expected Hispanic voters in Florida.

The poll of 1,316 Hispanics was conducted Feb. 11-March 11 by International Communications Research of Media, Pa. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
 

The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

Hispanics get news in English

By Amy Fagan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Full article at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040419-111747-2717r.htm
Published April 20, 2004

Most Hispanics living in the United States follow English-language news reports to some degree, especially likely voters, a survey released yesterday found.
    The survey of Hispanics' choice in news outlets, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, found 44 percent of Hispanics use both English-language and Spanish-language news to stay informed, 31 percent use English-only and just 24 percent rely on Spanish-language media.
    Roberto Suro, director of the center, said it is "striking" that so many use English-language media, especially considering that 61 percent of those surveyed were foreign-born Hispanics.
    "These results show that English exercises a very powerful appeal to those who come to this country," he said.
    Among those Hispanics likely to vote in a U.S. election, 53 percent get all their news in English, 40 percent use both Spanish and English sources, and just 6 percent rely on Spanish-language news.
    Still, Mr. Suro pointed out that most Hispanics switch between both English- and Spanish-language news than stick with just one.
    "There's a lot of going back and forth," he said.
    Maria Cardona, vice president of Media Relations and director of the Hispanic Project at the New Democrat Network, said that is why Spanish-language media is still crucial to reaching Hispanics. Two-thirds of Hispanics are watching Spanish-language media or switching back and forth.
    Ms. Cardona said this means: "If you're trying to market something to the Hispanic community there's no way you can do that without using Spanish-language television."
    The Pew report found Spanish-language media still has a broad reach and value among Hispanics. A full 78 percent of Hispanics across-the-board think Spanish-language news is very important to the economic and political development of the Hispanic population the largest minority group in the United States.
    Foreign-born Hispanics tend to watch more Spanish-language news, and 38 percent of them get their news exclusively from Spanish-only sources. Fifty percent use both language resources for the news.
    Mr. Suro noted that the longer foreign-born Hispanics are in the United States, the more they move toward watching English news only or switching back and forth between Spanish and English news.
    Foreign-born Hispanics give President Bush higher approval ratings than native born and tend to be less skeptical of Mr. Bush's policies in Iraq, the report found. Foreign-born Hispanics who watch all their news in English, however, tend to have views closer to those that are native-born.
    Ms. Cardona said foreign-born Hispanics, especially recently arrived immigrants, are "up for grabs" politically, because they "don't have the history or the legacy or the ties to the Democratic party that native-born Latinos may have."
    She said this group is one of the reasons Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts only secured the support of 52 percent of likely Hispanic voters and Mr. Bush had 39 percent in the poll.
    Ms. Cardona said Democrats "should not be comfortable" until Mr. Kerry's numbers are in the high 60s or low 70s among Hispanics. President Clinton's support among Hispanics was in the low 70s in 1996, and Al Gore's was 62 percent in 2000, she said.
    But she also said she's not worried because Mr. Kerry is "still an unknown quantity" in the Hispanic community and "his numbers won't go anywhere but up."
    The Pew Hispanic Center report was based on phone interviews from Feb. 11 to March 11, with 1,316 Hispanics about their media habits 767 foreign-born and 549 native-born. Of those, 344 were English-dominant speakers, 397 were bilingual and 575 were Spanish-dominant speakers.
Copyright 2004 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis: Latino voters sway with language


By Marie Horrigan
UPI Deputy Americas Editor
http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20040419-120511-7902r.htm

Washington, DC, Apr. 19 (UPI) -- A study released Monday suggests Hispanic voters aren't swayed by traditional campaign outreach efforts, a finding that may have significant implications for how Sen. John Kerry and President Bush market themselves to the country's largest minority group.

Like several minority groups, Hispanics have long been associated with the Democratic Party. Latinos fall somewhere between white and African-American voters in terms of the percentage of the population that identifies itself as a Democrat, according to a 2002 study by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

That same study also found that while Democratic identification among Hispanics is broad, it is also shallow and included opinions on several key issues that defy normal party platforms. The Pew Hispanic Center's survey released Monday further underscored this point, with findings that Latinos also are stratified according to whether they are foreign-born or native and whether they get their news through English-language or Spanish media.

The latest study, examining media habits among the United States' 35 million Hispanic inhabitants, said the Latino population can be divided into three segments -- those who get their news from English-language sources, those who get their news from Spanish-language media, and those who switch between the two.

Most significant for the president and his likely Democratic contender, the senator from Massachusetts, the majority of likely Hispanic voters who responded to the poll get their news entirely from English-language media. Forty percent get news from both languages, while 6 percent of likely voters get all their news in Spanish. Sixty-one percent of this group watches television network news shows only in English, while 28 percent watch news programs in both languages and 11 percent only in Spanish.

This means, the study reported, that the popular practice of airing political advertising on national Spanish-language news shows reaches, at best, 39 percent of the likely Hispanic voters, calling into question the efficacy of that practice in reaching this significant community.

The segment of respondents who said they used all English-language media outlets -- 31 percent of those polled -- were better educated and made more money. The vast majority -- nearly eight out of 10 -- was born in the United States and 44 percent made more than $50,000 a year. By comparison, 96 percent of those who only used Spanish-language media sources were foreign born and 65 percent made less than $30,000 a year.

The study's findings are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,316 Latinos conducted Feb. 11 to March 11. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Pew Hispanic Center Director Roberto Suro told United Press International he had not yet analyzed the survey's findings to extrapolate what they mean for likely Hispanic voting behavior in the 2004 presidential election.

"If I recall, for the most part the demographic characteristics you see in the general population hold for the Hispanics as well," Suro said, but added that the one "wrinkle" in the trend was that a lot of recently naturalized immigrants voted in the late '90s and in the 2000 election.

Gabriela Lemus, director of policy and legislation for the nonpartisan League of United Latin American Citizens, agreed that newly naturalized immigrants are more likely to vote, but pointed to other raw data that is perhaps more significant.

"Let's look at the numbers -- 8 million registered, 8 million eligible to register. Why aren't they registering?" she asked.

Thirty-five percent of the Hispanic population is between the ages of 18 and 25, an age bracket typically uninterested in both voting and policy issues, Lemus said. Also, a large proportion of the population has dropped out of school. "The less education you have, the less likely you are to vote, and that may trend with the media findings as well," she said. Finally, many Hispanics were embarrassed to vote because they had never done so and didn't know how.

The fact that Hispanics are the largest population minority group in the United States also is misleading once data is examined.

U.S. Census data show that 27.5 percent of voting-age Hispanics in the United States took part in the 2000 election, far below the averages for other ethnic groups.

One reason for this is that nearly four out of 10 of Latinos age 18 and above are not U.S. citizens, and thus cannot vote. Among whites this percentage is 2.2 percent, while 5.7 percent of voting-age blacks in the United States are not citizens.

Of the 202.6 million voting-age people living in the United States in 2000, 21.5 million were of Hispanic origin. Of those, 13 million were citizens, 7.5 million were registered, and 5.9 million actually voted.

This left Hispanics with the lowest percentage of registered voters actually casting a ballot in the 2000 presidential election, behind whites, blacks and Asians and Pacific islanders. Nationwide, 85.5 percent of registered voters participated in the 2000 election, while 78.6 percent of Hispanics did.

These statistics would point to candidates' need to pursue Hispanic voters on two tracks -- first, by addressing the policy issues important to them, but more importantly by getting them registered to vote.

Voter registration drives have become a major part of the 2004 election to deal with this exact problem. Nonprofit organizations, including one Lemus is working to get off the ground, are working feverishly to register voters. These organizations have to register voters for both sides, but by using demographic information they are able to handicap their effort by going after groups who historically have leaned to either side of the political divide.

Lemus added that it is important to respond to the policy questions Hispanics have, which are largely mainstream American issues: education, healthcare and the economy. Many Hispanics registering for the first time label themselves independents, Lemus said. "They really are curious, they want to be brought into it, they want someone to fight over them," which either candidate has yet to do.

The president, a former Texas governor who promised to work hard with Mexican President Vicente Fox to deal with the issue of illegal immigrants, made little headway on the issue beyond his campaign promises. This may come to haunt him in November, Lemus said.

On the other hand, Kerry has yet to define himself with Hispanic voters, Lemus said. "A lot of people are undecided. They're waiting to see from Kerry what he's going to do and what his plan is and what the strategy is," she said. The deciding factor, she later added, will be "what Kerry comes out with on education, healthcare and the economy."

"Bush is a known entity. Now they're going to have to figure out ... do you change your horse in mid-stream?"

Copyright 2004 United Press International

San Jose Mercury News
Posted on Tue, Apr. 20, 2004

Survey: Hispanics see Spanish-language media as more fair

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/counties/alameda_county/8475598.htm?1c


Associated Press

 

Hispanics in the United States view Spanish-language news media as important to their community and more likely than English-language media to portray them positively, according to a survey.

Still, the majority of Hispanics get their news either from English-language media or switch between Spanish and English-language outlets.

The poll found 31 percent of Hispanics get all their news in English, 24 percent get all their news in Spanish and 44 percent get their news from media in both languages.

"The preference for Spanish-language media is highest among recent arrivals to this country," said Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, sponsor of the poll. "It's very clear that the size of the future market for the Spanish-language media depends on the number of Hispanics allowed to emigrate here."

Suro said "the longer Hispanics are here in this country, the more they migrate out of Spanish-only media, either to English-language or to be switchers. There's a question whether the Spanish-language media can still exercise some hold on the second generation of immigrants."

Spanish-language media is a multimillion dollar business in the United States, with a half-dozen national newspapers, two major national television networks and many local TV and radio stations and newspapers in urban areas with large Hispanic populations.

Hispanics are evenly split on the question of the English-language media's handling of stories about the Hispanic community. Among those who get their news in English, more were likely to think Hispanics were portrayed negatively, with an excessive focus on topics such as illegal immigration and drug dealing and not enough on accomplishments in business and politics.

Fewer than half, 45 percent, said the English-language media have done an excellent or good job of covering news relevant to Hispanics, yet that number is almost seven in 10 for Spanish-language media.

Views of the media's role in society were generally far more positive among those who get all of their news from Spanish-language outlets.

"Only half of the foreign born population gets all their news from Spanish-language media only," said Suro. But he said that "the Spanish-language media is held in very high esteem as an ethnic institution. It is very important to the Hispanic community."

Hispanics who are registered to vote and have cast ballots tend to prefer English-language media. More than half of Hispanic voters, 53 percent, get all their news in English, and 40 percent of that group get their news in both languages, the poll found.

 

 

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Copyright 2004 Washington Republican National Hispanic Assembly
Last modified: 04/25/04