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Democrats Are in Trouble With Hispanics

from The Wall Street Journal,

Trump did better in 2020 than 2016, and polls suggest that trend will continue.

Republican gains among Hispanic voters have generated a wave of concern among Democratic strategists. In 2020, Donald Trump received 38% of the Hispanic vote nationally, compared with 28% in 2016, according to a state-of-the-art Pew study that verified individual votes and is considered more reliable than exit polls. In Florida, Mr. Trump’s share rose to 46% from 35%, and in Texas to 41% from 31%. He made large gains in other states as well. If these gains are sustained in the midterm elections, Democrats will be forced to concede that a group they long regarded as a cornerstone of a new Democratic majority has instead become a swing group for whose allegiance they must fight. If they’re serious about winning—and governing—Democrats must move Hispanics to the top tier of their electoral priorities. Here’s why.

A half-century ago, Hispanics in the U.S. numbered 9.6 million, less than 5% of the total population. Today, they number more than 62 million, about 19%. This rapid increase has had important consequences for the electorate. Although a higher-than-average share of Hispanics are too young to vote, their share of eligible adults has nearly doubled, to 14.3% from 7.4% since 2000. Since the 2018 midterms, that number has climbed to 34.6 million from 29.9 million, or 16%. Hispanic eligible voters outnumber African-American ones.

Hispanics make up 32% of the eligible votes in Texas, 25% in Arizona and 21% in Florida and Nevada. Declining support for Democrats in these states could put Florida and Texas permanently out of reach and shift Arizona and Nevada, which Democrats narrowly won two years ago, into the Republican column.

In the closing weeks of the 2022 midterm cycle, survey research suggests the trends of recent years are likely to continue. In 2018, Republicans won only 25% of the Hispanic vote. This year, the four most recent national surveys of likely voters place the Republican share of Hispanic voters between 34% and 38%.

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