Trump is causing many Hispanics to become Republicans

James Freeman:
Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report writes today that Democrats are confident about their support among suburban women, but enthusiasm among female Democratic voters “isn’t being replicated among another group of voters that theoretically should be as motivated — or more — to vote for Democrats: Latino voters.”

Ms. Walter explains:
Latino voter drop-off in midterm elections is nothing new, but the thinking was that President Trump’s rhetoric and policies around immigration, especially the issue of separating children from their parents at the border, would be a catalyst for higher Latino engagement in 2018. At this point, however, recent polling by New York Times Upshot/Siena College and Monmouth University, suggests that’s not the case.
In California’s 39th district — a racially diverse district that Hillary Clinton carried 52 to 43 percent — a Monmouth poll out this week found Republican Young Kim leading Democrat Gil Cisneros 46-42 percent.
Meanwhile on the right coast of the country, it seems that voters are also stubbornly refusing to play the roles they’ve been assigned in the conventional media narrative. Ms. Walter elaborates:
Republicans in Latino majority districts in South Florida are holding up better than their underlying infrastructure suggests they would. In a district Hillary Clinton carried with almost 57 percent, Republican Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) has a narrow lead over his Democratic opponent in the NY Times Upshot/Siena poll. And, in the 27th district, where moderate GOPer Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is retiring, private polls show former Clinton administration HHS Director Donna Shalala struggling to open a lead in a district Clinton carried by more than 58 percent.
In the sprawling southern Texas 23rd district — a district that is more than 70 percent Latino and voted narrowly for Clinton in 2016, Republican Rep. Will Hurd had a solid 51-43 percent lead over his Democratic opponent in the latest NY Times Upshot/Siena poll.

Finally, in the Los Angeles County 25th CD, a district that is majority minority and which Clinton won with 50 percent of the vote in 2016, the NY Times Upshot/Siena poll found Republican Steve Knight with a narrow lead over his Democratic opponent.

What about the middle of the country? This week the Texas Monthly reports that expected Hispanic support for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez, who’s running against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, hasn’t met expectations. Notes the Texas Monthly:
First came news that Valdez’s lackluster campaign is delivering equally lackluster results. A new Quinnipiac University poll on Tuesday—the first this season to measure sentiment among likely voters in Texas instead of simply registered voters—shows that Hispanics actually prefer Abbott to Valdez. Hispanic respondents, in fact, preferred the incumbent Republican by a margin of 49 percent to 45 percent over Valdez. While the 4.1 percent margin of error tightens that race a bit, the fact that Abbott leads with his substantial war chest mostly intact, suggests an election night slaughter for that race that could extend to higher than normal Hispanic support for the governor and potential coattails for people like Cruz.

The second development this week may be a bit more troubling for O’Rourke: the election of a Republican in a district that has been solidly Democratic for 139 years, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Republican Pete Flores, backed by endorsements from Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Cruz and U.S. Senator John Cornyn, won a stunning upset victory over well-known Democrat Pete Gallego in a San Antonio special election to capture a state Senate seat. The election was to fill the remaining term of disgraced former state Senator Carlos Uresti, who resigned his seat after being convicted in federal court of eleven felony charges. This marks the first time a Hispanic Republican has been elected to the Texas Senate and the first time the Senate has had twenty-one Republican senators.
The bottom line is that Hispanics as a group are not as universally hostile to Trump as some other groups in the Democrat coalition. The Will Hurd district was one that was created with a Hispanic majority.  as was the Senate district won by Flores.  Other polls have also indicated Trump has increased his support in the black community.

A new Florida poll shows Sen. Nelson trailing by 14 points with Hispanics 50 and older,  It also shows Gov. Scott doing well with Puerto Rico votes who generally vote Democrat.


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