Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, February 19, 2020
President Donald Trump has a solid base of Latino support that is only growing as the president’s economy keeps humming.
That is bad news for Democrats and their corporate media allies who continue to push the narrative that Trump is racist or anti-Hispanic because of his strong stand on illegal immigration.
Polls show Trump’s support among Hispanics hovering between 30 and 40 percent, a significant number that, if it holds, would go a long way toward his re-election in November, analysts say. If Trump can raise the number, he could be unbeatable.
Placed in context, this is more support than Mitt Romney got in 2012, and similar to what John McCain received in 2008. Only “Texan” George W. Bush, who received closer to 40 percent, has had more support from Latinos among Republican candidates. Some polls by CNN and The Hill have placed Hispanic support for Trump as high as 38 percent, and numbers in the 30s have been seen even in deep blue Democratic strongholds like California. A November 2019 Telemundo poll showed a 31 percent job approval for the president among Latinos.
This level of Latino support for Trump is even more significant because of the president’s aggressive stand on immigration and border control, and the constant and vitriolic anti-Trump propaganda in Spanish-language media such as Univision.
Of course, the Hispanic vote is not monolithic. What matters to Mexican Americans in the Southwest is not always the same as what is important to Cuban Americans in Florida, or Puerto Ricans in New York. But there are some common factors that do cross these lines.
What has kept this Hispanic support for President Trump so steady? Faith and family for one.
Many analysts believe that Trump’s strong endorsement and policies promoting traditional concepts of family and religion strike a chord among a significant part of the socially conservative Latino community.
CNN Commentator Steve Cortes argues in RealClearPolitics that, “As the Democratic Party lurches left on social issues, the largely Catholic and Evangelical Hispanic community finds itself orphaned by the radicals.”
Abortion is a key issue to many Latinos who are mostly opposed to the Democrats’ increasingly extreme pro-abortion views. Trump’s strong pro-life stand resonates for many Latinos.
Meanwhile, pocketbook issues and economics also play a prominent role. Most Latinos came to the United States to have a better life and standard of living. They are also the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America. Trump’s policies supporting small businesses and reducing unemployment matters to them. For example, as Cortes points out, Trump’s policies helped Hispanics make up two-thirds of all new homeowners in 2019 even though they only make up one-fifth of the U.S. population.
Trump’s booming economy is clearly helping Hispanics. As reported in The Atlantic, a poll by Equis Research showed that 57 percent of Latinos in Florida approved of the president’s handling of the economy. Among Cuban Americans support jumped to 71 percent. If the economy keeps humming, expect Latino support for Trump to stay steady, or even grow.
And then there is illegal immigration. Contrary to conventional wisdom, not all Hispanics believe that strong border enforcement is a crime against their community. Latino communities often suffer the most from unprotected borders. American Hispanic citizens are the ones most affected by illegal competition in labor markets. They are also the ones impacted most often by criminal illegal aliens entering their communities, especially in “sanctuary cities” which often attract violent transnational criminal gangs. For these Latinos, Trump’s stance on illegal immigration is actually a good thing.
As Kristian Ramos notes in The Atlantic, “By the fourth generation or after, only half of U.S. adults with Latino ancestry say they are Latino. These voters no longer align their cultural identity with immigrants, and immigration as an issue is less important to them.”
Martha Garcia, a Trump supporter in New Mexico, makes the point many American Hispanics believe when she told The New York Times: “We need to take care of the people who are already here.” For many Latinos Trump is doing just that.