- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made villains out of Mexican immigrants this election, promising to build a border wall to keep out “rapists” and “drug dealers.” Not surprisingly, it’s going to cost him at the polls in November, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
According to the Pew Research Center survey, Clinton has 58 percent of support from Latino voters, compared to Trump’s 19 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has 10 percent of Latino support, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 6 percent. Overall, 64 percent of those surveyed said they identify with or lean Democratic, while 24 percent say the same about Republicans. Trump’s support from Latinos pales in comparison to Hispanic votes for Mitt Romney in 2012 (27 percent of Latino voters), John McCain in 2008 (31 percent of Latinos), and George W. Bush in 2004 (44 percent).
The poll also showed that Trump’s rhetoric toward Latinos has resonated. Some 75 percent said they have talked about Trump’s remarks with coworkers, friends, and family over the course of the last year.
If there’s a downside for Democrats, it’s that only 69 percent of registered Latinos said they were “absolutely certain” they would vote, compared to 77 percent in 2012. However, an edge in the Latino vote is still a plus for Clinton, simply because of demographics. The number of Latinos eligible to vote this year will be the largest in U.S. history, according to Pew. The research group estimates there will be 27.3 million eligible Latino voters this year.
“The number of Hispanic registered voters and the number of Hispanic voters is likely to reach new records in 2016, just as it has in every previous presidential election cycle for the past three decades,” the Pew report said.
The survey was conducted August 23 to September 21 among 1,507 Latino adults. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Monday showed Clinton with a double-digit lead over Trump among all voters. It was taken after a video of Trump making lewd comments about women and sexual assault was released last Friday.
The Pew report also serves as more evidence that the Republican party has ignored the findings of its own 2012 election post-mortem, which found that the GOP had to improve outreach to Latino voters if it wants to stay competitive in national elections. If anything, the Trump campaign has set these efforts back to where they were well before Latinos overwhelmingly choose President Barack Obama over Romney four years ago.
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