Frank Sharry: The GOP Is On Course to Create A Turbo-Charged Version Of The 2012 Cycle That Could Make The Republicans’ Past Problems With Latino Voters Look Quaint
Washington, DC – Republicans, you have a problem. Your candidates and your party are indeed building a wall – between Latino voters and your party.
New polling of Latinos from AP/GFK finds that Donald Trump is enormously unpopular with Latino voters. Only 11% view him favorably. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, establishment-oriented candidates thought to be the answer to the GOP’s Hispanic problem, do better (26% and 23%), but nowhere near enough to the42% – 47% threshold needed to win the general election.
Here are excerpts from the AP write up of the results:
“Republican front-runner Donald Trump is widely unpopular among the nation’s Hispanics, a new AP-GfK poll finds, challenging the billionaire’s oft-repeated assertion that he will win the Hispanic vote if he becomes his party’s nominee.
The survey finds many of the Republican candidates running for president would probably struggle to win significant support among Hispanics in a general election. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are their favorites, but even they are a hard sell, the poll suggests.
Trump is viewed unfavorably by 72 percent of Hispanics, with 6 in 10 having a very unfavorable opinion of him, the AP-GfK poll finds. Only 11 percent view him favorably.
… Among Trump’s rivals, Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and married a Mexican-born woman, is viewed most favorably by Hispanics, with 26 percent giving the former Florida governor a positive rating. Rubio, a Florida senator and Cuban-American, comes in second, with 23 percent viewing him favorably.
…After Mitt Romney’s loss to President Barack Obama in 2012, the Republican Party called for passing an immigration overhaul and taking steps within the party to appeal to more Hispanics, in recognition of their growing influence.
After advocating for self-deportation during his campaign, Romney won 59 percent of the white vote in that general election but just 27 percent from Hispanics.”
The new Latino voter polling from AP/GFK follows similar findings from other recent polls. A Latino voter oversample of the SeptemberNBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll also found that 11% of Latinos view Trump positively (only 3% “very positively”), while a whopping 72% view Trump negatively (67% “very negatively”). The recent MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll found “70% of Latinos say they see Trump as insulting and offensive, compared to 26% who say he tells it like it is.” And polling from ABC News/Washington Postfound that Donald Trump had a net negative favorability of 67 percentage points among Latinos, with only 15% of Latinos viewing him favorably and 82% viewing him unfavorably.” In addition to Trump’s acute unpopularity with Latinos, the recent polling also finds a tarnished GOP brand image. For example, only 6% of Latinos viewed the Republican Party very positively in the recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll – near the low-water markregistered in the poll going back to the 2008 campaign.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Latinos and their allies are mobilizing to send a message to the GOP. As Republicans gather in Boulder, Colorado for tomorrow’s GOP debate, thousands of local and national leaders will hold a massive rally just outside the venue to both respond to the latest stream of anti-immigrant attacks and to launch “My Country, My Vote” – an unprecedented 12-month voter registration campaign to mobilize Colorado’s Latino, immigrant and allied voters (see more at www.mycountrymyvote.org).
In the 2012 general election, which featured the largest Latino voter electorate in history, Latino voters ended up supporting President Obama by a whopping 75%-23% margin over Romney, according to Latino Decisions Election Eve polling (71%-27% in media-sponsored exit polls). Now, not only is the ugly immigration discussion helping to engage as well as alienate the Latino voting bloc for 2016, but the Latino electorate is growing more sizeable by the day – a recent article in National Journal highlighted that, “Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. That’s about 66,000 every month, or 800,000 every year, according to the Pew Research Center.” The Latino electorate is expected to rise from approximately 11 million voters in 2012 to 13 million voters in 2016.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Largely because of immigration, the Republican Party is building a wall between its candidates and Latino voters. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s primary season embrace of ‘self-deportation’ and his pledge to veto the DREAM Act helped ensure historically low levels of Latino support. Now, in 2016, Republicans are lurching further to the right with talk of mass deportation, denying citizenship to U.S.-born children and the big lie of ‘border security first’ – which we know from 30 years of bitter experience translates to enforcement-only. As a result, the GOP is on course to create a turbo-charged version of the 2012 cycle that could make the Republicans’ past problems with Latino voters look quaint. This GOP presidential primary features explicit nativism and anti-Latino campaigning from its frontrunners and even the supposedly pro-reform candidates like Bush and Rubio have been caught up in the toxic, anti-immigrant undertow. Faced with an existential crisis about how to make inroads to the new American electorate, the Republican Party is headed in exactly the wrong direction.”