LATINO VOICES

Here's A Few Ways Ted Cruz Diverges With Latino Voters, In Addition To Immigration

03/24/2015 02:33 pm ET | Updated Mar 24, 2015
The Washington Post via Getty Images

When U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced his candidacy on Monday, some Latino groups dismissed him immediately, primarily because of his hardline views on immigration.

But Cruz’s political differences with Latino voters don’t stop with immigration, the issue most commonly associated with the Hispanic community. While the Texas Tea Party candidate hopes to become the first Hispanic president of the United States, his views diverge from prevailing opinion among Hispanics on a range of issues, from the role of government to gay marriage.

Here’s a few of the many ways in which Cruz doesn’t represent Latino public opinion.

  • Size of government
    tupungato via Getty Images
    This is one of the areas in which Cruz least resembles the average Latino voter. In his speech on Monday, Cruz urged his followers to imagine a drastically reduced role for the federal government, including the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service.

    It’s not a proposal that is likely to resonate with Latinos. In a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, some 75 percent of Hispanics favored a bigger government that provides more services over a smaller one that provided fewer services. Only 41 percent of the general population, by contrast, favored a larger government that provided more services.
  • Climate Change
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Ted Cruz derides “global warming alarmists” and uses what PolitiFact refers to as “cherry picked” data to play down fears that human activity is responsible for rising global temperatures over time.

    But for many Latinos, climate change is a major concern. A poll carried out in February by The New York Times, Stanford University and the research group Resources for the Future found that 63 percent of Latinos favor action by the federal government to address climate change, compared to just 49 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
  • Obamacare
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The gap between Cruz and the average Latino voter isn’t so pronounced when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. Some 47 percent of Hispanics support Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, according to 2014 Pew survey -- about 6 percent points above the general public, but short of a clear majority.

    But while Obamacare may not be overwhelmingly popular among Latino voters, it’s also not as reviled as it is by the hyper-conservative Cruz, who appears likely to make repealing the ACA a the centerpiece of his campaign.
  • Gay Marriage
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cruz has publicly said he believes marriage to be between a man and a woman, but favors allowing states to decide whether to recognize same-sex marriage.

    The Latino community, on the other hand, tends to support gay marriage. Some 59 percent of Hispanic voters said their state should recognize same-sex marriages, according to a 2012 exit poll.
  • Abortion
    Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas Capitol, Feb. 26, 2015 (AP)
    Cruz has struck a similar tone on the issue of abortion, saying that it’s ultimately an issue that state governments should decide, but personally calling for strict limits on the practice and favoring prohibitions on using tax dollars to pay for it.

    Hispanic voters, however, tend to favor keeping abortion legal. Some 66 percent of Latino respondents in the 2012 exit poll said abortion should be legal, according to ABC News.
  • Gun Control
    Ted Cruz at a pheasant hunt in Akron, Iowa, 2013 (AP)
    Ted Cruz is an outspoken proponent of protecting gun rights, defining gun control as "hitting what you aim at."

    That position is, once again, out of step with most the views of most Latino voters. A Pew study from 2014 found that 62 percent of Hispanics favor controlling gun ownership over protect gun rights.
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS