When Democratic candidates take the stage in Las Vegas for Tuesday’s primary debate, members of the state’s Latino population likely will be listening closely to what the candidates say about immigration — and especially about undocumented immigrants.
That’s because 64 percent of Latino voters in the state personally know someone who fits in that category,
At 7.6 percent, Nevada also has the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants of any state, according to a study from Pew Hispanic Center. Immigrants in general make up 19 percent of the population, and 43 percent of them are naturalized U.S. citizens, most of them Latino or Asian.
While Latino voters are not monolithic, they are more likely to vote Democratic, and are more likely than the population as a whole to rank immigration as a top issue.
The issue is almost certain to come up at the CNN-hosted debate, where candidates other than Clinton are aiming to boost their campaigns. They need to make an impression on Latinos in particular — according to a recent Gallup poll, most aren’t familiar with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb or former Govs. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. (Gallup did not poll on Democratic candidate Lawrence Lessig, who was also not invited to the CNN debate.)