A Blue Wave Of Latino And Hispanic Voters Is Lifting Hillary Clinton


According to a new Washington Post/Univision poll, Hillary Clinton enjoys an historic 30-point advantage with Latino and Hispanic voters nationwide.

Trump’s entire campaign seems to have been geared to offend Latino and Hispanic voters. His proposal to build a giant wall on the Mexican border, his attacks on a federal judge with Mexican parents, and his white nationalist rhetoric have made quite a bad impression on them.

Just 20 percent of respondents said they held either a very favorable or somewhat favorable view of Trump, compared with 69 percent who said the same of Clinton, the Democratic nominee. Twenty-eight percent said they view Clinton very or somewhat unfavorably, while 76 percent hold those views of Trump. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they believe Trump is racist.

With over 1,000 respondents in English and Spanish, the survey sample avoids many pitfalls of testing a demographic that can be very hard to pin down with any accuracy. With Latino and Hispanic voters turning out in record numbers this year, these results are very good news for Clinton in states like Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.

Latinos and Hispanics account for for one in six of the Sunshine State’s 12.9 million registered voters. Even Cuban Americans, who strongly favor Republicans in ordinary times, only give Donald a seven-point edge in a separate Univision poll while Clinton enjoys a 71-19% advantage among Puerto Ricans in Florida.

“These Florida numbers are not only ominous for Donald Trump — they’re downright terrifying for Republicans nationwide,” said Fernand Amandi, Bendixen & Amandi’s pollster, who called Clinton’s 30-point margin “historic.”

“The share of the Hispanic vote is growing every election and this will be the third presidential election in Florida where Hispanics trend heavily against the GOP,” Amandi said. “And if that continues, it could turn Florida into the next California in future presidential elections, a blue anchor state.”

The long-term damage of the Trump candidacy was not inevitable.

Learning exactly zero lessons from their post-2012 ‘autopsy,’ which recommended reaching out to Latino and Hispanic voters, Republicans cowered before their angry white base instead. Donald Trump saw their weakness and exploited it to win the nomination, but his strategy has dragged the party even further into the same general election trap as before.

When historians look back at this election, they may very well decide that Republicans made their most critical error when they failed to pass immigration reform before Trump ever declared his candidacy.

Among the respondents to the Washington Post/Univision poll, 15 percent identified immigration as the most important issue they will consider in deciding their vote. Only “jobs and the economy” was listed as more important, with 28 percent selecting it as the issue that will most help them decide who to vote for.

When he wasn’t talking about his wall-building dreams or calling Mexicans rapists, Trump also made a few fumbling efforts at outreach, but of course none of them was sustained or systematic. Clinton, on the other hand, built a sustained voter engagement campaign that has apparently succeeded in turning out a highly-energized voting block at historic levels.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore Flickr under Creative Commons license

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