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New Polling and Analysis: “No, Latinos Aren’t Abandoning the Democratic Party”

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New polling and analysis offers an important reminder about Latino voters’ views and preferences. 

Washington, DC – New polling and analysis offers a reminder that the majority of Latinos who vote this cycle will pull the lever for Democrats. Meanwhile, as the GOP hypes its supposed inroads with segments of the Latino voting community, the extreme anti-immigrant and white nationalist talking points deployed by GOP candidates could prove to be a liability, as Dana Milbank reminds in his Washington Post column, “No, Latinos aren’t abandoning the Democratic Party”:

“Cortez Masto, probably the most endangered Democratic Senate incumbent this year, might or might not win reelection. Margins, or more likely turnout, among Hispanic voters could slip, and in this tight race, small variations could be decisive. “I know I can’t take this community for granted,” Cortez Masto tells me — a mantra she repeats four times in a few minutes. 

And the community appears to be reciprocating. A Univision poll released Tuesday showed Cortez Masto leading Adam Laxalt by 33 points among Latinos (and a statistically insignificant two points overall).

But if there is slippage among Latinos, it will be because they, like voters of all races, are disenchanted with the majority party and feeling economic anxiety. (In Nevada, gas prices are among the highest.) It won’t be because they have embraced Laxalt, a MAGA Republican who has boasted about fighting against protecting “dreamers” (typically immigrants who were brought to the United States as children) from deportation. He has also voiced the white-nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy idea that the left uses illegal immigration to “destroy the values that made this country a great nation,” as he put it. (His campaign didn’t respond to my requests for comment.) In a broader sense, there is no sign Hispanic voters are abandoning Cortez Masto in droves. She will undoubtedly win Latinos (30 percent of the state’s population and nearly 20 percent of the electorate) by a wide margin, as she did in 2016.

The aggregate story is much the same nationally. It might be small comfort to Democrats if an erosion of the Latino vote costs them key races next month. But some correction is needed to the prevailing narrative that Hispanic voters are fleeing the Democratic Party en masse.”

As Milbank references, new Univision polling released yesterday in Nevada and Texas show that Democratic candidates in key statewide races are garnering significantly more support from Latino voters over their Republican opponents.

Per the reference in the Milbank column to Adam Laxalt’s embrace of “replacement” theory, additional polling underscores why GOP embrace of extremist conspiracies such as the “replacement” theory are repelling Latino voters. A recent national poll of Hispanic voters from UnidosUS and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund found that 84% of Latino voters said it was “personally important” for elected officials to condemn white supremacy and found that Latino voters’ top-ranked “deal breaker” among 11 issues tested was a candidate being supported by white supremacists/nationalists.  

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, America’s Voice Executive Director:

“A strong majority of Latino voters will vote for Democrats and support  a progressive vision for our country on a range of issues, including immigration and the fight against white nationalism. Democrats still have work to do to engage Latino voters including addressing the economic and job concerns of working class voters and issues like protecting Dreamers, fighting for abortion rights, and protecting communities from gun-violence and assault weapons.  But make no mistake, Latino voters are a core part of Democrats’ winning electoral coalitions.

Meanwhile Republicans are on one hand spending millions on outreach to Latino voters, and on the other are mainstreaming white nationalist conspiracies that put a target on the backs of Latinos all across the country. Republicans should be held to account for this contradiction. They cannot simultaneously be the party of welcoming Latinos while embracing white nationalist extremism at the highest levels of their leadership and in campaigns across the country.”