A poll taken before the Democratic presidential debates being held this week found 42% of Americans believe speaking Spanish during a presidential debate is "pandering," rather than "respectful."
YouGov polled over 1,000 U.S. adults about candidates speaking Spanish during a televised presidential debate, which began Wednesday and will continue Thursday evening. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro all spoke at least some Spanish during the debate Wednesday night.
- 42% said speaking Spanish is "pandering."
- 31% said it is "respectful."
- 27% did not know.
The survey also found Democrats and Hispanic-Americans tended to think the use of Spanish is respectful.
- 46% of Democrats said speaking Spanish is respectful.
- 32% said it was pandering.
- 37% of Hispanic adults said speaking Spanish is respectful.
- 27% said it is pandering.
Most respondents, 56%, answered positively when asked their thoughts about a presidential candidate being fluent in a language other than English. There have been previous bilingual presidents, such as former President Martin Van Buren who spoke Dutch, and more recently former President George W. Bush, though not being fluent, was known to occasionally deliver speeches or interviews in Spanish.
YouGov surveyed 1,258 adults in the U.S., 462 Democrats, 305 Republicans, and 330 independents, from June 21-24.
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