Midterm elections might finally show the Democratic Party it has lost an old stand-by loyal ballot caster once and for all. Hispanic voters are the second largest and fastest-growing demographic in the US electorate, and the left has taken them for granted – much like a loyal spouse at home whose mate is out carousing. And you know what happens next: Some other suitor will come calling.
In 2016, Donald Trump had a difficult time wooing Latinos. But then, with added prosperity, began the slow and steady change, and in 2018, conservative Hispanics went to the polls in droves. In 2020, the Latino vote jumped 10 points, to 38%, for President Trump. Democrats declared it a hiccup while frantically searching for reasons. Now, Republicans are at the door armed with a full-on romancing program from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), called Operación ¡Vamos!
Oleada de Rojo (Red Wave)
So far, the Republican Party has instituted the grassroots, Spanish-speaking campaign rubric in nine states to great success. Among them are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio – all current battleground states in which even a small percentage of Hispanic voters could move the needle.
Polling numbers support claims that the program is amping the trend of changing voter registration from Democrat to Independent or Republican. Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA recently released a telephone survey showing 34% of Hispanic voters say they have moved closer to the Republican Party over the last few years.
The NRSC has also crunched the numbers, finding that most Hispanics’ political philosophy coincides with conservative or libertarian ideology. Hispanic voters endorse capitalism and hard work, and they want border security, less government oversight, a reversal of the dismal economy, and for Joe Biden to not run in 2024. Pollster and data expert David Shor explained to New York magazine in 2021: “One important thing to know about the decline in Hispanic support for Democrats is that it was pretty broad. This isn’t just about Cubans in South Florida. It happened in New York and California and Arizona and Texas. Really, we saw large drops all over the country.” Could it be, una oleada de rojo? Si.
In Wisconsin, one of the Operación ¡Vamos! launch states, the Republican Party announced the “GOP surpassed the combined total of Hispanic voter contact efforts of the past six years.” And just days ago, the North Carolina GOP released this statement: “North Carolina Vamos program has been active on the ground, speaking to voters throughout the state, since April. This week the North Carolina Vamos program hit a milestone, contacting over 125,000 Hispanic voters throughout the state, the highest number of Hispanic voter contacts for a single election cycle in state party history.”
Embrace the Hispanic Voter
Florida seems to be leading the trend: The Sunshine State was substantially less white and more Republican in 2020 than it was two decades ago. But, of course, Shor is correct; California and a large swath of the Southwest are home to a sizeable population of Mexican Americans. Latino residents of Florida comprise a mashup of Cubans and Puerto Ricans, with an influx of South Americans from countries like Venezuela. Other factors include the length of citizenship. Some Hispanic families in the four corners had roots in the area before the English bumped into Plymouth Rock. They tend to be conservative, whereas a new influx of immigrants to the state is more prone to the whims of the current Democratic-driven government.
The Hispanic voter is not a one-dimensional demographic to lump into the Democratic Party. And perhaps the Republicans finally understand how to communicate with a powerful voting bloc. It seems to be trending toward a ¡Vamos!
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