Republicans gain with Latino voters, liberal pollster shows

WXK805 Rio Rancho, United States. 16th Sep, 2019. A woman holds a Latinos for Trump sign during President Trump's re-election rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico on Monday, September 16, 2019. Photo by Justin Hamel/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News

Photo: Alamy

With November’s midterm elections swiftly approaching, the Republican Party is gaining ground among Latino voters, according to a new NBC News/Telemundo poll released on Sunday.

“While Latinos continue to lean toward the Democratic Party and prefer Democratic control of Congress, Republicans have a higher share of the vote than we’ve measured previously,” Democrat pollster Aileen Cardona-Arroyo of Hart Research Associates told NBC News.

The national survey, conducted Sept. 17-26 among 1,000 registered Latino voters in both English and Spanish, showed that Democrats maintain a lead of more than 20 points among Latino voters on the question of which party should control Congress.

However, Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who teamed up with Cardona-Arroyo to conduct the survey, noted that the gap was once twice as large.

“Being down by 20 points is a lot better [for Republicans] than being down by 40 points,” McInturff told NBC News.

Other findings from the survey included that 51 percent of respondents said they approved of Joe Biden’s job performance – compared to 45 percent who disapproved – yet 57 percent said they felt the country was on the wrong track. 

Further, a majority of voters said they disapproved of Biden’s performance on the issues of border security and immigration (51 percent), the economy (54 percent), and cost of living (60 percent). However, voters approved of his handling of foreign policy matters 49-44 percent.

Likewise, Latinos preferred Republicans over Democrats 38-34 percent on the economy, 36-33 percent on border security, and 36-28 percent on crime. On the other hand, Democrats were the preferred 50-23 percent on abortion, 49-23 percent on addressing the concerns of the Hispanic community, 48-28 percent on protecting democracy, and 46-21 percent on health care.

Another noteworthy finding of the poll was that President Donald J. Trump’s favorability among Latino voters is the highest it has ever been at 30 percent, up two points from October 2020 and 17 points from October 2016.

In April, Trump shared his thoughts on the reasons behind the growing conservative shift among Hispanic voters, listing border security as a primary factor.

“They understand the border better than anybody else,” he contended, “and they want security at the border.”

Describing Hispanic Americans as “very entrepreneurial” and “very incredible people with great energy.” The president also attributed the change to his personality, explaining, “They like me, and I like them.”

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