(WSVN) - A new study from Emerson College surveyed Hispanics in Florida to gauge where they stand on several key issues just months before the midterm elections.

Speaking with 7News on Wednesday, Spencer Kimball, Emerson College’s director of polling, said the largest minority group in the country is becoming a crucial decider of elections in many key states. Their votes could very well decide the balance of power in Congress in November.

“After the 2020 elections, in particular what we saw in Florida with the Hispanic population, we thought it was really important to really focus in on Hispanic voters and also non-voters,” said Kimball.

Emerson College pollsters zeroed in on Hispanics in the Sunshine State after conducting polls in Texas and Colorado.

“The number of Hispanics that said that they align with the Republican Party is almost equal to the number of Hispanics that align to the Democratic Party,” said Kimball.

As for the most pressing issue in Hispanic voters’ minds, Kimball said, there was no contest.

“The number one issue for Hispanic voters is the top issue we’re seeing across the country for all voters, and that’s the economy,” he said.

Nearly two in five Hispanics in Florida, 38%, said matters like inflation and the rising cost of living have taken a toll on their families.

The rising cost of rent is something South Florida has been dealing with for months. People have even taken to the streets as the region quickly becomes one of the most unaffordable in the country.

“If you combine affordable housing with the economy, nearly half of the population is having some pocketbook issues,” said Kimball.

Immigration is also a big issue, one where, Kimball said, Democrats have been losing ground.

“There have been many years where Democratic candidates have campaigned on some sort of amnesty or some sort of immigration reform, and it seems as if voters are getting frustrated by the lack of movement,” he said. “It’s almost making Hispanics now look, ‘What’s the other side got?'”

As the country awaits a major Supreme Court decision on abortion, Emerson College pollsters made an interesting find among a group seen as highly religious.

“When we asked the people in the survey about abortion, they lean more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party,” said Kimball. “When we dug into it in those focus groups, it was really interesting to see almost all of the male representatives in the focus groups were saying it’s a woman’s choice.”

The Florida poll also found voting is still seen among many as an obligation.

“Their duty to vote was the number one motivator, especially those who have immigrated into the country, that now they are like a U.S. citizen, the day that they voted,” said Kimball.

Pollsters also asked participants whether they were turned off by the political process. Sixty-five percent of non-registered citizens said certain factors, including better candidates to choose from, could motivate them to register to vote.

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