Hispanics stick with Trump
President Trump is poised to launch his 2020 reelection as popular with Hispanic voters as other Republicans, bucking predictions that provocative nationalist rhetoric and hard-line border policies would crater his support with this critical bloc.In my experience living around Hispanics for most of my life, they are very patriotic. They love this country and want to protect it. They want to protect the borders too. They are also very entrepreneurial and hard workers. It will not go unnoticed that Hispanic unemployment is now at an all-time low.
When Trump, four years ago Saturday, descended the escalator to the lobby of his iconic New York skyscraper and announced his first campaign, he riffed that Mexicans "with lots of problems," including rapists, were crossing the southern border. Many Republicans, establishment and otherwise, were mortified. They fretted that nominating Trump, never mind electing him, would permanently doom the GOP with Hispanics.
It hasn’t worked out that way. Available polling consistently shows Hispanic support for the president at around 30% — about the same as it has been for many Republican politicians post-George W. Bush and pre-Trump. Indeed, Some party insiders focused on improving Hispanic support for the GOP now contend that he has room to grow with this cohort in next election.
“He starts in a much better place for reelection than when he launched his 2016 campaign,” said Daniel Garza, a Bush administration veteran who runs the Libre Initiative, a Koch network group that encourages Hispanics to embrace conservative policies. “One would think immigration would be a major anchor for him, but he’s turned it into at least a push,” he said, suggesting his policies would neither harm nor help the president.
That’s quite a turnabout for Garza. Here is what he told the Washington Examiner about Trump in August 2015: “His positions are indefensible. I would actually rise up against him.”
In 2016, Trump captured 28% of the Hispanic vote, according to national exit polls. That was virtually identical to the 27% of Hispanics that Republican nominee Mitt Romney won four years earlier. In the midterm elections, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, garnered 35% of the Hispanic vote, according to statewide exit polling. That figure was in line with how Republicans have performed in Texas recently.
This month, in a YouGov poll for The Economist, Trump’s job approval rating among Hispanics clocked in at 29%. On immigration, presumably a tougher issue for the president with this demographic, it was 30%. The survey, conducted June 9-11, had an error margin of 3 percentage points.