After more than a year of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making provocative comments about Mexican and Muslim immigrants and Hispanics in general, a new Pew Research Center survey of Hispanics finds their overall attitudes about the Republican and Democratic parties – and levels of political engagement – are not much different than they were four years ago.Wait, you mean the Trump campaign and the hysterical reaction to it haven’t made that big a difference in Hispanics’ political opinions?
Democrats Maintain Edge as Party ‘More Concerned’ for Latinos, but Views Similar to 2012, By Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Jens Manuel Krogstad and Gustavo Lopez, Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends, Oct. 11, 2016
Maybe because they were already solidly Democrat?
About half of Latino registered voters (54%) continue to say the Democratic Party is more concerned for Latinos than the Republican Party; just 11% say the GOP has greater concern, while 28% say there is no difference between the parties. Democrats held a similar advantage four years ago, when by 61% to 10%, more Latino voters viewed Democrats as more concerned about Latinos. Trump’s campaign comments about Hispanics have resonated widely. Fully 75% of Hispanic registered voters say they have discussed the Republican candidate’s comments about Hispanics or other groups with family, friends or coworkers in the past year. And among Hispanic registered voters who have discussed Trump’s comments, 74% say they have given “quite a lot” of thought to the presidential election and 74% say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote.The Trump candidacy has provoked a big reaction in the Latino community, but it hasn’t substantially changed their loyalties. Most of them voted Democratic before, so Trump’s rhetoric didn’t drive them to the Democrats. They were mostly already there.
About six-in-ten Latino registered voters (58%) favor Clinton, while just 19% support Trump; 10% favor Libertarian Gary Johnson while 6% back Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee. In 2012, in a two-way contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Obama won 71% of the Latino vote, while just 27% supported Romney, according to national exit polls. That was one of the largest Democratic advantages among Latinos dating back more than two decades, according to a post-election analysis of the Hispanic vote.After the election it should be interesting to see what the demographics look like. When it’s all said and done, it may be that Trump can garner a significant minority of Latino voters, at least no worse than for a usual Republican candidate.
But how about those Millennials?
Notably, Clinton’s support is lagging among Hispanic Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 in 2016), who will make up nearly half of the record 27.3 million Latinos estimated to be eligible to vote in 2016. Among Hispanic Millennials, 48% support Clinton, while 15% back Trump; about as many favor Johnson or Stein (13% each) and 11% chose another candidate or offered no opinion. Among all older Latino voters (ages 36 and older), Clinton has 66% support, Trump 21% while just 7% back Johnson and 1% support Stein. In addition, Clinton receives less-positive backing from Latino Millennials who support her than from older Latino voters. About two-thirds (64%) of Millennial Latinos who back Clinton describe their support as more a vote against Trump than a vote for Clinton. By contrast, 65% of older Clinton supporters say their support is more of a vote for her than a vote against Trump. A similar generation gap in positive voting is seen among Clinton’s supporters more generally. In an August Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, most Millennial voters who supported Clinton (62%) said they saw their vote more as a vote against Trump rather than for Clinton. Meanwhile, most older Clinton supporters (57%) viewed their vote more as an expression of support for Clinton.Then there’s the big question that always comes up,the question of turnout.
With the number of Latinos eligible to vote reaching a record 27.3 million, Latinos could be more important than ever in the upcoming election. But a big question about the Latino vote is how many will turn out this year given that Latino voter turnout rates have long trailed those of other groups.Don’t they always say something like “Latinos could be more important than ever”? But their importance hinges on them showing up to vote, and also their geographical distribution in the electoral college.
Now this is interesting…
Overall, 69% of Latino registered voters say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote this November, down modestly from 77% who said the same in 2012.So fewer Latinos are “absolutely certain” they’ll vote than four years ago? Despite all the hullabaloo over Trump?
And how about Latino Millennials?
Among the sharpest declines – 13 percentage points – is among Millennial Latinos. This year, 62% say they are absolutely certain they will vote compared with 74% who said the same four years ago.In party identification, Democrats hold a big lead, which they’ve had since before the Trump candidacy.
Democrats continue to hold a significant lead over Republicans in political party identification among Latino registered voters. About two-thirds (64%) of voters say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party while 24% say the same about the Republican Party.And here’s an interesting item about voter registration.
There has been little change over the past 15 years in the share that identifies as Republican among Hispanic registered voters. In 1999, 25% identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, Democrats have made gains during this time, with the share identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic Party rising from 57% in 2007 to 70% in 2012, and holding relatively steady since then. Both trends predate the candidacy of Trump.
Fully 97% of Hispanic registered voters say they have the identification needed to vote in their state. Among Hispanic eligible voters who are not registered to vote, 85% say the same.Way down at the bottom of the page, there is the some very interesting information about which Latinos are more or less likely to support Trump.
About eight-in-ten (83%) Latino voters who support Trump were born in the U.S., compared with 64% who were U.S. born among Latino voters who back Clinton.Is that not interesting? So if we could shut down immigration, it would give those immigrants already hear a better chance to eventually vote for a Republican candidate.
Or how about English-language ability?
Among Latino voters, 37% of Clinton supporters are English dominant, 22% are Spanish dominant and 41% are bilingual. By comparison, 60% of Latino voters who back Trump mainly use English, while 5% mainly use Spanish and 35% are bilingual.That’s very interesting. Latinos who back Trump are more likely to be English-language dominant. That’s very interesting.
So if the GOP (or any party with similar principles) were interested in increasing its share of the Latino vote, wouldn’t an immigration shutdown and English-language assimilation policies be the way to go?