Breaking News: Hispanic Voters Not Obsessed With Immigration After All
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See also: New Poll: Now A Hispanic Majority Wants Mass Deportations. Democratic Elite Getting The Bill For Betrayal.

Back in the George W. Bush era, Karl Rove was the leading spokesman for the conventional wisdom’s theory that what Hispanic-American voters cared most about was swinging wide open the gates for even more immigration. Therefore, the one thing that the GOP could do to help its chances with the rapidly growing number of Latino voters was to submit to Democratic demands for more immigration.

After all, Latino ethnic activists kept telling Republican politicians and the press that boosting the number of Latinos even greater was what Hispanic voters most obsessed over.

I repeatedly demurred, suggesting that Hispanics weren’t as ethnocentric as their purported leaders insisted, and as Jewish journalists assumed. Instead, rather than being highly ethnocentric like Jews and blacks, Hispanics, I suggested, were more like Italians, who always tended to have heterogenous opinions on immigration because they were never really into Italian Power.

Now, from the Washington Post:

On immigration, the views of Hispanic voters mirror Americans overall

Like most Americans, they are also more likely to disapprove of Biden’s handling of the issue than to approve.

Analysis by Philip Bump
National columnist
June 14, 2024 at 1:10 p.m. EDT

A few months after the 2020 presidential election, the research firm Equis Labs published an analysis of one of the unexpected aspects of that race: the shift among Hispanic Americans to the incumbent, Donald Trump.

One possible factor, the analysis suggested, was that the lowered salience of immigration in 2020 (thanks to plunge in immigration during the pandemic) meant that Hispanic voters judged Trump on other issues, such as the economy. Some of the biggest shifts to Trump between 2016 and 2020 were seen in counties with large Hispanic populations but relatively small recent increases in the Hispanic population—meaning places where fewer Hispanic immigrants were arriving.

After all, The Experts know that there is nothing Hispanics who have been here long enough to be voters (and regular ones at that) care more about is flooding the country with more immigrants. Mexican-Americans especially love the random flotsam from the non-Mexican world (e.g., Salvadorans, Haitians, Mauritanians, etc.) that has been assaulting the border during the Biden Years.

In 2024, of course, immigration is very salient. Trump and his party have put enormous focus on immigration and on President Biden’s handling of the border as the election draws closer. So it’s worth asking: How do Hispanic voters view the issue?

The answer is fairly straightforward. Recent polling suggests that those voters view it in much the same way as Americans overall—not necessarily in the same way that Democrats do.

YouGov released polling conducted for the Economist this week measuring the extent to which Americans viewed certain issues as very important to their vote. Immigration ranked eighth out of 15 issues presented to respondents, but third among Republicans.

A third of Democrats said immigration was a very important issue. Eight in 10 Republicans did. About half of all respondents did, as did about half of Hispanics.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the campaign, immigration ranked second overall. (The distinction here is between evaluating each issue individually, shown in the graph above, and identifying one issue out of the 15 that is most important.) It was the issue most commonly identified as most important by Republicans and near the bottom of the list for Democrats.

For Hispanic voters? Second, just like respondents overall.

YouGov also asked people to evaluate whether they approved of Biden’s handling of a subset of the issues, including immigration. Hispanic voters, like respondents overall, viewed Biden’s handling of all nine issues more negatively than positively. That includes immigration, which was among the four issues of the group that Hispanics were least likely to identify as very important.

Notice that immigration saw the fewest Democrats identify it as “very important,” it was also the issue on which Democrats gave Biden the least net approval. There is a reason that Republicans are focusing on it so heavily.

Fox News polling, conducted in several swing states, shows that this pattern exists at that level, too. Immigration is one of two issues on which voters in those states—and Hispanics—think Trump would do a better job than Biden. The Hispanic numbers are generally in line with overall responses, skewing slightly more favorably to Democrats.

My view two decades ago was that Hispanic voters tended to be pretty rational old-fashioned working class tax-and-spend voters, so they’d continue to vote mostly Democratic for the bennies.

One thing that has changed under Trump is that the GOP has dumbed down its brand, so it now appeals more to Hispanics and even blacks, but, at least in 2020, at a cost to white suburbanites.

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