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Advocacy group finds one-fifth of Latino voters leaning towards third-party presidential candidates

Advocacy group Voto Latino said their largest 2024 election year poll found a projected one-fifth of Latino voters would prefer a third-party candidate over President Biden and former President Trump.

The poll of 2,000 likely Latino voters, conducted by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, shows support for Biden falls dramatically when voters are offered a third option in addition to former President Trump.

In a head-to-head matchup among swing-state Latinos, Biden leads Trump 59% to 39%.

However, Biden’s support falls to 47% to Trump’s 34% when third party candidates are included. For example, the poll found 12% of those voters supported independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Independent candidate Cornel West and third party candidate Jill Stein saw 3% and 2% respectively, with 1% undecided in the poll.

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Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino, argued in a recentUSA Today opinion column that this year could mark a persuasion election between Biden and Kennedy. The group is slated to discuss the findings further in a call with media today.

The poll also found that Kennedy’s support is stronger among younger, more progressive Latino voters, Kumar said. Specifically, the poll found that Latino women ages 18 to 39 and those without college education register higher support for Kennedy and other third-party candidates.

Voto Latino endorsed Biden for president in 2020 and again this year. If third-party support fades by election day, a projected one-fifth of Latino voters could be in play, the group said.

Voto Latino said its recent poll also found support for Biden is weaker among Latino women versus men, and the reverse is true for Trump. Trump sees stronger support from Latino men than women. The poll also found that down-ballot Democratic candidates running in congressional races fare better than Biden.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.