Democrats Find Urgent New Reasons to Worry About Latino Voters

Kristian Ramos, the campaign manager for Way to Win’s midterm message research project, said: “We could easily lose them to the couch. This administration has done 10 times more on Covid, has done miraculous work on the economy, but Latinos have no idea. And the economic anxiety in this group is off the charts.”

Half of those polled by Way to Win said that they trusted the Democratic Party more on the issues of jobs and the economy, while 54 percent said they approved of Mr. Biden’s handling of the economy. Among those who have an unfavorable view of the party, 22 percent say it is too liberal or socialist, according to the poll.

Yet the majority of those surveyed said they wished that Mr. Biden could have enacted more change than he has so far, which pollsters tied to “deep anxiety about the economy.”

“They don’t really care ideologically, as long as someone is speaking to those pain points,” Mr. Ramos said.

The Equis report found that Latinos who may have been otherwise inclined to vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 withheld their support in that campaign because of his hard-line stance on immigration and the “importance of the Hispanic identity.” But by the middle of 2020, neither of those issues clearly differentiated Trump supporters and Democratic voters. Instead, the impact of the pandemic appeared to drive a larger number of voters, and the Trump administration’s approach to reopening the economy was embraced by a majority of them.

The Equis research found that Democrats are losing ground to Republicans on issues relating to the economy. Asked which party they find more accurately described as valuing hard work, better for the American workers and the party of the American dream, Latino voters were roughly evenly divided.

“The challenge is that 2020 hasn’t ended, the same dynamics haven’t ended,” said Carlos Odio, the co-founder of Equis. If there is a moral to the story, Mr. Odio added, it is that less partisan Latinos moved toward the candidate they trusted more on their top issue. “So competing for the vote can pay off.”