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Trump Reverts to Even More Extreme Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino Rhetoric from 2016 Ahead of 2024 Election

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Washington, DC — In an in-depth piece for CNN, Ron Brownstein notes the critical role that Latinos will play in deciding the 2024 presidential election. Titled The unexpected dynamic that could decide the Trump-Biden rematch,” Brownstein writes: “Under any scenario, Trump in 2024 will receive the vast majority of his votes from Whites. But the incremental improvement from 2020 that could carry him to a second term now looks to be concentrated preponderantly among non-Whites.” While Trump did improve his margins among Latino voters from 2016 to 2020, there’s evidence to counter the assertion that this trend will continue. 

Quoted in the Brownstein piece, Democratic pollster Matt Barretto said, “‘there’s no chance’ Trump can maintain his elevated level of support in the community as more learn about his language and proposals. Barreto maintains that Trump improved among Hispanic voters in 2020 because he dialed back his anti-immigrant rhetoric from 2016 and focused instead on reopening the economy from the Covid pandemic – a position that appealed to many economically struggling Hispanics. But now, Barreto said, Trump is ‘definitely running a more extreme cultural White supremacy … agenda than he did in ’16.’”

According to Zachary Mueller, Senior Research Director for America’s Voice:

“Anyone who has been paying attention can see that Trump’s rhetoric has grown increasingly dark. His conspiratorial language is actively courting political violence and undermining our democracy. In addition to echoing some of his 2016 campaign pledges, Trump has gone farther when discussing his vision for immigration. Trump has erred on the side of explicit appeals to white nationalist themes of mass roundups and purges based on the false assertions about a plot to ‘replace’ white voters, a hostile ‘invasion’ and a ‘migrant crime’ wave. But, as we have seen in many elections since 2016, this may be an error indeed, as extremism – including extremism on immigration – and hostility to people of color, has been a liability to Trump and MAGA candidates in general elections, with some voters of all races and ethnicities. 

This is coming at the same time that events in Baltimore have underscored for all Americans the value and, in this case, tragic sacrifices of essential workers in the United States. Immigrants take on many of the most dangerous and least appreciated jobs in our society, yet in moments like this – where their public service costs them their lives – Americans see a fuller picture of immigrants than the vision Trump and his allies in politics and media offer. When Trump continues to double down on demonizing immigrants and using immigration as an ugly and dangerous political foil once again, as we expect and as we are observing in our daily tracking, he may pay a price with voters he needs, especially if they become acutely aware of the threat behind Trump’s rhetoric.” 

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