COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The results from the 2012 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll find that Latino western voters – a growing and politically- significant constituency in the upcoming elections – support upholding and strengthening protections for clean air, clean water, natural areas and wildlife. They also view America’s parks and public lands as essential to their state’s economy, and quality of life.
The survey, completed in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming by Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies (a Republican firm) and Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (a Democratic firm), found that across multiple issues, Latino voters express stronger pro-conservation views than their Anglo counterparts.
“An overwhelming majority of Latino voters see national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife as an essential part of their quality of life and want to protect conservation efforts,” said Dave Metz. “In fact, 76 percent of Latino voters voiced support for maintaining environmental protections.”
Latino voters across the west nearly unanimously agree – 94 percent – that public lands such as national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife areas are “an essential part” of the economies of these states. The survey also found that 87 percent of Latinos believe that having a strong economy and protecting land and water are compatible.
“Hispanics are passionate about their public parks and open spaces,” said Maite Arce, executive director of the Hispanic Access Foundation. “Parks are often the center of family activities, gatherings, and even their careers. As such, their protection ranks high on Hispanics’ priority list.”
Eighty-eight percent of Latino voters said that cuts to funding for state parks and protections for water quality was a serious problem in their state, indicating that even with tight state budgets, they want government to find a way to maintain investments in land, parks, water, and wildlife protection.
More than 8 in 10 Latinos view air pollution as a serious problem in their state, and see the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws as important protections rather than burdensome
Western Latino voters also see renewable energy as a job creator – 78 percent of Latino voters believe that increasing the use of renewable energy will create jobs in their state, and eight in 10 Latino voters want to reduce consumption of coal, oil, and gas by expanding use of renewable energy.
The 2012 Colorado College Western States Survey is a bipartisan poll conducted by Republican pollster Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. The poll surveyed 2,400 registered voters in six key western states (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY, MT) January 2 through 5 & 7, 2012, and yields a margin of error of + 2.0 percent nationwide and +4.9 statewide.
The full survey is available on the Colorado College website.