Updated 05:49 AM EDT, Thu, Mar 23, 2017
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Hispanic Voters Expected to Back Climate Change Candidates; Why Is This Issue Important to Hispanics?

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Climate Change
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Smoke billows from the chimneys of a heating plant in Jilin, Jilin province January 8, 2014. China has set new targets for its provinces to reduce air pollution by 5 to 25 percent, state media said late on Tuesday, underscoring the government's concern about a source of public anger. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA

 

 

The Latino vote is fast -growing and important for politicians who are backing a climate change agenda, according to reports. The Latino community has been backing the ideas about improving the environment, after a 2012 Sierra Club poll showed that 77 percent of Latino voters thought climate change was occurring. Now the question is whether heading into the 2014 midterm elections if that support will help political candidates at the polls.

Several national surveys have been conducted by environmental groups in addition to the Sierra Club, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Voces Verdes, which is a nonpartisan group of Hispanic business leaders. These groups have used the polls to show that environmental issues are important to Latino voters, and to help boost support for a pro-environmental politics. 

Many Latinos, according to the polls, have shown strong approval for President Barack Obama's move to limit greenhouse gases.

The non-profit group National Latino Coalition on Climate Change has been showing support for issues such as fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline. According to the 2012 Sierra Club study, concern for water and air polution has been growing in the Latino community since 2008.

The NLCC has possibly been playing a role in some of the awareness raising as the group states: Their "primary goals are to help raise awareness about global warming and climate change in Latino communities and build the capacity needed to support grassroots advocacy efforts."

These efforts may be paying off as the National Journal reports that a recent review of polling data shows that Latinos continue to be engaged on the topic of global warming.

As the Journals reports, the Hispanic Access Foundation, which is an commissioned a set of nine public-opinion polls came to the conclusion that "Hispanic voters are likely to vote for candidates who have strong environmental records as a result."

It would be a blow to Republican candidates who are generally not supporting environmentally friendly platforms or rallying against global warming. Still, the survey doesn't guarantee Hispanics will vote a certain way in November.

"But even if Hispanic voters rate the environment as an important issue," writes the Journal, "that doesn't necessarily mean they will cast ballots with that priority in mind."

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