There are roughly 27.3 million eligible Latino voters in the United States (up from 19.5 million in 2008). So it should come as no surprise that, for any modern presidential candidate, winning over a sizeable share of the Latino vote is key to winning the election. That’s what George W. Bush did in 2004, when he garnered 44 percent of all Latino votes. However, after Bush, GOP presidential candidates have seemingly turned their back on Latino voters, with Mitt Romney winning a smaller share of Latino voters than Bush. Judging from recent polls, prospective GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, is well on his way to losing them by an even larger margin than Romney. It’s no surprise given his relentless bashing of immigrants in general and Mexican immigrants in particular. In fact, Trump seems to be poised for overwhelming rejection by Latino voters.
That conclusion is buttressed by a new poll by Latino Decisions, which was commissioned by America’s Voice. The poll spells nothing but bad news for Trump and for the Republican Party as a whole come November. Among the findings of the poll:
- Latinos favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 74 percent to 16 percent. This is worse than Mitt Romney’s showing among Latino voters in 2012, when Latinos chose President Obama by a 75 percent to 23 percent margin. Similarly, 78% of Latino voters said they have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump.
- Latinos favor Democratic candidates over Republicans by a four-to-one margin: Roughly 77 percent of Latino voters say that the Republican Party “doesn’t care too much about Latinos” (41 percent) or that the GOP is “sometimes hostile towards Latinos” (36 percent), while just 13 percent say the Republican Party “truly cares about the Latino community.” Conversely, Latino voters favored Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by approximately 72 percent to 16 percent in House races nationwide and 71 percent to 19 percent in Senate races.
- Latinos overwhelmingly support immigration executive action programs (DACA and DAPA): DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) are backed by more than 8 out of 10 Latino voters. Conversely, Latinos overwhelmingly opposed the Texas-led lawsuit blocking the DAPA/DACA programs from going into effect, frowning upon the lawsuit by 66 percent to 28 percent.
- Latinos are highly motivated to vote: More than half (54 percent) of Latinos are more enthusiastic about this election than in 2012, up from 48 percent when the same question was asked in April.
When it comes to Latino voters, Donald Trump is shooting himself in the foot with his talk of border walls and mass deportations. He is also poisoning the well for Republican candidates in any locale with large numbers of Latino voters. Latinos are listening carefully to the campaign rhetoric during this election season, and they don’t seem to like what they’re hearing from Trump. Plus, they are increasingly anxious to vote in order to make their displeasure known. This spells trouble for Trump and for those candidates who feel obligated to fall in line behind him.
Photo by NadineOG.