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Poll: NM Hispanics Motivated First by Economy, Second by Immigration

A new poll of Latinos in New Mexico shows that potential voters are concerned about the economy and immigration policy this year. 

Latino Decisions, a national organization, conducted the poll of 400 registered Latino voters in New Mexico.

Voters were also asked whether they support the New Mexico policy of grating driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Republican Governor Susana Martinez has pushed to repeal it since taking office two years ago. She says it’s a public safety issue.

A previous poll by the Albuquerque Journal showed Hispanics favored repealing the policy.

BUT, the poll by Latino Decisions asked voters if they would support keeping the program in place if measures were added to prevent fraud. That’s similar to a proposal offered by some state lawmakers….and 70 percent of the voters said they support it.

Gabriel Sanchez, a professor at UNM and a researcher with Latino Decisions says the new poll shows Hispanics in New Mexico want to see nuance in immigration policy. 

SANCHEZ: they like consensus, they don’t necessarily see public policy as black and white. They say can’t our government come up with good, sound policy that is somewhat of a consensus between two polar extremes.

The Latino Decisions poll also showed that Hispanics in New Mexico more strongly favor President Obama in this year’s presidential race.