A Latino Decisions poll released on November 16th, revealed that 84 percent of Latino voters in 14 selected battleground states believe that the Republican Party is either hostile or indifferent to them. 45 percent said the GOP was hostile towards Latinos, and another 39 percent said the party doesn’t care too much about Latinos. Only 16 percent believed the Republican Party truly cares about Latinos.
In 2012, Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama by a 71 to 27 percent margin over Republican Mitt Romney. After the election, soul searching Republicans promised they would soften their message and re-brand the party in order not to keep alienating Latino voters. Those promises however proved empty, as Donald Trump has become the Republican front-runner largely by demonizing Mexican immigrants.
According to the Latino Decisions poll, 80 percent of Latino voters felt that Donald Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign gave them an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party. However, the Republican Party’s problem goes beyond Donald Trump. 69 percent also thought Ben Carson’s statements gave them an unfavorable impression of the GOP.
In November 2012, just 18 percent of Latino voters thought the GOP was hostile towards them, compared to the 45 percent who feel that way in 2015. The Republican Party has completely trashed their brand in the Latino community.
Latino voters described their top concerns as immigration issues, education, and health care, so it is little wonder they feel the Republican candidates don’t have much to offer them. They are. however, impressed with Hillary Clinton. 61 percent of Latino voters had a favorable impression of Hillary Clinton, compared to just 27 percent who vied her unfavorably.
Clinton was considerably more popular with Latino voters than both of the GOP’s Hispanic presidential candidates. 40 percent of Latino voters expressed negative opinions towards Florida Senator Marco Rubio, while just 32 percent of Latinos viewed Senator Rubio favorably. Ted Cruz was even less popular with 24 percent of Latinos viewing him favorably, compared to 40 Percent who viewed him unfavorably.
With Latinos recognizing the Republican Party as hostile or indifferent to their concerns, the GOP had better hope that their immigrant bashing strategy appeals to a whole lot of white folks, because if it doesn’t, the Republican Party will get buried in 2016. The GOP will be lucky if they get 20 percent of the Latino vote, and anything less than that will be politically fatal in almost every critical swing state.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.