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Shift of Hispanics to Republican Party has Democrats deeply worried

by | Oct 12, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

We talked about the drift of Latinos out of the Democratic Party on numerous occasions. They made up nearly 13% of the presidential vote in 2020, and that number has only grown. As the nation’s largest minority, “The choices made by Latino voters on Nov. 8 will be crucial to the outcome in a disproportionate share of Senate battleground states, like Arizona (31.5 percent of the population), Nevada (28.9), Florida (25.8), Colorado (21.7), Georgia (9.6) and North Carolina (9.5),” writes New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall.

Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd noted that although their polls show a large advantage for the Democrats, he also observed that the margin continues to drop. However, he didn’t mention that it had dropped by half! That was online.

Overall, Democrats enjoy a 21-point lead on congressional preference, with 54% of Latino voters preferring Democrats in control of Congress, versus 33% who want Republicans in charge, according to the survey.

That’s down from Democrats’ 42-point advantage in our Oct. 2012 NBC/WSJ/Telemundo oversample of Latino voters. 

This is especially true in rural areas. This is why, for example, Todd said, “Republicans think they can make inroads in South Texas.”

Democrats are convinced that abortion is the issue that will bail them out of the mess the party is in. According to Laurel Duggan of the Daily Caller quoting Politico

Democratic super PACs and campaigns have dropped almost $18 million on abortion-related ads, tripling what they spent on the issue throughout the entire 2018 general election, according to Politico. Democrats view abortion as a winning issue for their party and are bombarding voters with TV ads on the issue, according to Politico. 

But, she added,

However, the majority of voters favor abortion restrictions that are opposed by most Democrats, and abortion is consistently ranked as a low-priority issue by most voters, according to numerous polls.

Back to Edsall. It’s a fascinating read (he is not with us). The headline is intended to grab the readership of the New York Times by the lapels: “The ‘Sleeping Giant’ That May Decide the Midterms.”

By the sleeping giant he means Hispanics.

Edsall’s style is to quote extensively from academic studies and followup by text or email. For example, he quotes from Reversion to the Mean, or their Version of the Dream? An Analysis of Latino Voting in 2020,” and then follows up with an email exchange with Bernard L. Fraga, one of the authors:

My sense is that most of the Latinos who shifted to the Republican Party in 2020 have not returned to the Democratic Party. Many of these new Republican converts were ideologically conservative pre-2020, so Republicans didn’t have to shift their policy message very much to win them over.

Then there is “Portrait of a Persuadable Latino” — an “April 2021 study by the nonprofit Equis Research of Hispanic defections from the Democratic Party.”  Carlos Odio, co-founder and senior vice president at Equis Labs which conducted the study. He said “[W]e do not see evidence of a further decrease in Democratic support since Biden’s win.” 

That doesn’t pass the straight face test.

Sure enough, Odio “pointedly cautioned” that 

The political environment has the potential to lead to further erosion of Democratic support among Latinos. A meaningful share of Latino voters remain on the fence, having not firmly chosen a side in the election. These late breakers could move toward either party, or toward the couch, before the midterms are over.

There much more there and elsewhere that tells anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see that, for many, many reasons, Latinos are deserted the Democrat party in droves.

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