A Cornell University teacher and Univision Polling Director told an audience Tuesday night at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site that Latinx are very diverse in many ways. However, a new poll from his television network found they seem heavily united in one way.
A native of Mexico, Sergio Garcia-Rios said Latinx are heavily united, with 63 percent planning to vote Democratic, only 19 percent planning to vote for President Trump, and the rest undecided. Garcia-Rios said the policy issues in the Latinx community are not what a lot of people would expect.
"When we ask Latinos, and these are a nationally representative sample of eligible voters, what the main topic and the most important candidates and the Congress and the president they will be embracing, they say it's health reform. The second one is wages and salaries and then third is immigration and fourth, more employment," he said.
Garcia-Rios said many of the leading Democratic presidential candidates are not always able to communicate with Latinx, with few speaking any degree of Spanish. He said Beto O'Rourke speaks it the best, with Julian Castro behind, followed by Pete Buttigieg.
He also spoke about the way Latinx are merging into the U.S. population, while retaining their roots. Garcia-Rios said he is a good example of change since he came here when young.
"I came on my own when I was 17 and found my way," he said. "The answer is yes. What I wanted to study, what I wanted to do wasn't necessarily available in Mexico, so I had to find a way to do it."
Garcia-Rios went to college in Texas and then to graduate school at the University of Washington before coming to Cornell.