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Poll: Most Latino Voters Favor Strong Environmental Protections

Latino voters say environmental issues are an important factor in their decisions inside the voting booth. (Pixabay)
Latino voters say environmental issues are an important factor in their decisions inside the voting booth. (Pixabay)
December 27, 2016

DENVER – More than 70 percent of Latino voters are deeply concerned about the environment and how it affects their families. That's according to a new Latino Decisions poll, which found over 90 percent of Latino Coloradans want the President-elect and new Congress to fight climate change.

Dominick Moreno, incoming Colorado Senator for Adams County, said he isn't surprised by the poll results.

"The Latino community, I think, in Colorado really cares about the environment, cares about climate change and doing something about that, and is generally, I think, more environmentally sensitive to these issues," he said.

He added that the survey confirms Latinos are an increasingly important voting bloc and are willing to take their convictions into the voting booth. In Colorado, 96 percent of Latinos surveyed said they support candidates who work to protect public health by limiting air pollution.

Nationally, Latino Republicans were less enthusiastic than Democrats about the need for action on climate change, but more than 60 percent agreed it's an important issue. Over 90 percent want more clean-energy development.

Senior analyst of Latino Decisions, Edward Vargas, said these voters care about the environment because Latino communities are disproportionately affected.

"We tend to reside and live near environmental dump sites, factories; Latinos are also more likely to be working in the fields," he explained. "So, I think this is just a reflection of where we live and where we work is impacted by the environment."

Moreno said he's confident the Latino community will keep a watchful eye on the Trump administration and Congress in case they try to reverse progress on climate change or let energy producers off the hook.

"You're going to see them really, I think, rise up and say that we're not going to accept the status quo, that we're not going to accept halting the work that we've already done to make sure that, no matter where you live, that you have access to clean air and clean water, and outdoor recreation," Moreno added.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO