Signs Point to Latinos Voting Republican in ’22

Recent polls show increasing dissatisfaction with Democrats

Imagine the following scenario:

Donald Trump enters the 2024 presidential election, but announces he’s replacing former Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate with a Latino. The former president argues it’s about time everyone acknowledge what was once thought impossible: Latinos want to go Republican en masse.

He picks someone younger, more charismatic, and even more conservative than him — a child of an immigrant who grew up poor but pulled himself up by the proverbial bootstraps to succeed in the U.S. It’s such an impeccable story that any accusations that Trump’s choice is a vendido — a sellout — fall flatter and are cheesier than a quesadilla.

From East Los Angeles to South Texas, Little Havana to Washington Heights, just enough inspired Latinos become the swing vote that secures Trump’s win — maybe eventhe first time ever that a GOP presidential candidate wins a majority of the Latino electorate. The GOP thus finally fulfills the prophecy long attributed to Ronald Reagan — that Latinos are Republicans who just don’t know it yet.

Crazy scenario, right? Actually, no.

In an alternate universe, this could’ve totally been a thing — and recent polls and studies that show Latinos are more politically conservative than at any point in recent memory are proof of this.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Latinos its pollsters talked to support Republicans and Democrats in equal numbers, and that only one percentage point separates Joe Biden from Trump in a hypothetical 2024 rematch among the Latinos they surveyed. Two Democrat-friendly research groups found that Latinos are increasingly dissatisfied with the blue view. Another Democrat-aligned firm discovered that the use of “Latinx” by Democratic politicians offends enough Latinos to the point that 30% of the ones they talked to would be less likely to vote for a politician who used the term.

Even a Fairleigh Dickinson University study that found Americans believe there’s a War on Christmas more than ever before revealed that Latinos buy that humbug more fervently than any other ethnic group.

All this news comes a year after Trump — who, quick recap, dismissed Mexicans trying to come into the United States in the 2015 speech that announced his first presidential run as rapists and drug dealers, posed with a hideous-looking taco salad in a 2016 Cinco de Mayo tweet, and referred to El Salvador as a “shithole” country in 2018 — built bigly on his 2016 Latino support to earn 38% percent of our vote. It was the highest such percentage since George W. Bush got 44% of the Latino vote in 2004.

The conservative political swing by Latinos has set off furious finger-pointing among Democratic operatives and glee among conservative ones, who now hope one of the gifts under their Christmas tree this year is the 2022 Latino vote (poor Democrats, meanwhile, are stuck with a giant lump of West Virginia coal in their stocking).

wrote about this phenomenon in columns leading up to and after the 2020 presidential elections. I’m seeing it on the streets, in social media, and in the poll numbers — it’s real, and it’s reaching a boil.

There are many immediate reasons why more Latinos are voting Republican right now: an attraction to Trump’s bluster, an exhaustion with COVID-19 mandates, a repudiation of the social justice causes that Democrats have campaigned on for the last couple of years at the expense of the economy.

Democratic activists dismiss these points, and instead blame the very real disinformation campaigns on social media that paint President Biden as a communist at best and a child-eating reptilian at worst as swaying too many Latinos to leave their party. But the most important reason why there’s always a chance for Latinos to flip conservative is because it’s inherently within us thanks to a political philosophy that I call rancho libertarianism.

It’s the core beliefs of working-class Latinos, many influenced by their roots in the rural parts of their ancestral countries. Whether you live in Appalachia, the highlands of Jalisco, County Cork in Ireland, or Sicily, country folk oftenshare common traits — rugged individualism, distrust of government and elites, conservative moral beliefs, a love of community and a hatred of political correctness — that are like catnip for Republicans.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times

Trump Ad Echoes Campaign for CA Prop. 187

Donald Trump political adDonald Trump’s first TV ad of the 2016 campaign isn’t airing in California, but the images are very familiar to Californians.

The ad begins with a warning about radical Islamic terrorism, with photos of the two San Bernardino shooters over a background of flashing emergency lights and a sheet-covered body. Next, the announcer promises that Trump will “stop illegal immigration,” and the video cuts to grainy black-and-white footage of immigrants racing on foot to cross the border.

That clip is actually from Morocco, but if you lived in California in 1994, you probably remember the original version of this ad, with its grainy black-and-white footage of immigrants racing on foot to cross the border, running between the cars on Interstate 5.

“They keep coming,” the announcer said somberly in that campaign ad for Gov. Pete Wilson’s re-election. “Two million illegal immigrants in California. The federal government won’t stop them at the border, yet requires us to pay billions to take care of them.”

Also on the ballot that year was Proposition 187, which would have cut off public benefits, including education and health care, to everyone in California who was residing in the country illegally.

Pete Wilson won that election with 55 percent of the vote, and Prop. 187 passed with 59 percent.

Later, Prop. 187 was thrown out by a federal court and Wilson was widely blamed by political experts for turning a generation of Latino voters away from the Republican Party. But that’s not proof that voters feel differently today than they did in 1994.

Will Trump’s message resonate with a majority of voters in California or repel them? Let’s crunch the numbers from the 1994 vote for Prop. 187 and see if we can find the answer.

We’ll start by asking, “Who voted for Prop. 187?” According to an average of exit polls, 40 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of voters registered as independent or other.

At that time, statewide voter registration in California was 49 percent Democrat, 37 percent Republican, and 14 percent independent or other party. Today, the numbers are 43 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 29 percent independent or other.

How would a vote on Prop. 187 come out today if the 1994 exit poll percentages were applied to California’s current voter registration by party?

It would pass, 56 percent to 44 percent, assuming equal turnout across the board. It’s a guessing game to predict which party’s voters would be more energized to turn out, and whether that would change the outcome. It probably wouldn’t.

Like the voter registration statistics, the demographics of California have changed.

The 1994 exit polls estimated the ethnic/racial composition of the electorate as 78 percent non-Hispanic white, 9 percent Latino, 7 percent black and 6 percent Asian.

Who voted for Prop. 187? Sixty-four percent of non-Hispanic whites, 52 percent of both blacks and Asians, and 27 percent of Latinos.

The Public Policy Institute of California projects that in 2016, 60 percent of the state’s likely voters will be white, 18 percent Latino, 6 percent black, 12 percent Asian, and 4 percent multi-racial or other.

If each group voted as it did in 1994, Prop 187 would pass by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent. Adding the 4 percent of voters in the more recent multi-racial category to either side won’t change the result.

There’s one more question. Have attitudes and views in this state changed so dramatically since 1994 that exit polls from that election are now irrelevant and meaningless? Maybe. But a different conclusion can’t be ruled out:

Donald Trump could carry California.