After his third consecutive win in Nevada last night, Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for President (no bother appending with “barring some unforeseeable event” — who’s left for Trump to insult?).
But perhaps an bigger “SMH” moment coming out of last night’s caucuses is an entrance poll claiming Donald Trump won 44% of Latino Republican caucus-goers, with Marco Rubio taking 29%, and Ted Cruz 18%.
“46% with the Hispanics,” Trump misstated (as he frequently tends to do) at his victory party last night. “Number one with Hispanics, I’m really happy about that.”
If you’re also in disbelief about Trump’s claim after his nine months of screaming that Mexicans “have to go back,” you have every reason to be. Buzzfeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo delves deeper into the entrance poll numbers:
The overall sample size for the entrance poll was 1,545 caucus-goers; of those, 9% identified as Latino — or about 135 people. Because of the small sample size, the 44% support figure has a 10% margin of error.
And while the Democratic caucus on Saturday saw nearly 16,000 Hispanics participate, the Republican number will fall somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 Latinos. In other words, many fewer Latinos voted Republican in Nevada than they did for the Democrats — something to remember if Trump touts the number as evidence that he can win Hispanic voters nationally.
To recap: 1,545 Republican Nevadans were sampled in last night’s entrance poll. Of those, about 135 identified as Latino Republicans. And of those Latinos Republicans, about 60 of them went to Trump. 60.
In Nevada, nearly three times more Latinos voted in the recent Democratic caucuses than voted in the Republican caucuses. So, the number of Latinos still voting Republican represents just a small fraction of Latino voters overall in the state. And, the number of Latinos voting for Trump represents an even smaller fraction of those Latinos still going Republican.
That there are some hard-core conservative Latinos in Nevada isn’t a surprise. In the 2010 Senate election, even Sharron Angle, who was as anti-immigrant as Trump, got 8% of the Latino vote according to Latino Decisions polling.
But, we don’t expect Trump to shut up about this 44% number any time soon, which may not even be 44% to begin with due to the 10% margin of error. After all, this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, and he’s never been one to let the basic facts get in the way of scaring up some votes.
Remember, Republican leaders never challenged Trump’s extremism. They’ve let him get away with the attacks on Mexican immigrants, among others. Trump may be telling them he’s got the Latino vote in the bag, but he doesn’t now — and won’t in November.
So, no, Latinos do not support Donald Trump. But he’s sure gonna convince everyone to believe they do anyway. In fact, as Trump would say, we think his loss with Latinos will be YUUUGGGEE.