Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Are Latinos Becoming Republicans?

Equis is a progressive organization that has been studying Latino voting in 2020 and 2022 and trying to figure out what that means for 2024 based on 22,000 interviews. In particular, there was a shift of Latinos toward Trump in 2020 and 2022 in some places, and the question is whether this was a fluke or a harbinger of more change to come.

In 2022 specifically, Latinos moved sharply rightward in Florida, but not so much in the other battleground states. Florida is a special case for a variety of reasons (e.g., a different mix of Latino origins than elsewhere), but why did the Democrats hold their own in the other battleground states? The conclusions were:

However, things may be different in 2024. Many marginal Latino voters, who vote only in presidential years, may nevertheless be more open to the Republicans (and even Donald Trump) in 2024 than they were in 2020. These voters are very sensitive to inflation and blame the Democrats for it. This shift might be enough to turn Arizona and Nevada red in 2024.

The study has two main points for 2024. First, the Republicans still aren't a multicultural working-class party. While inflation is an issue, cultural concerns are also at work. And on education and healthcare, Latinos favor the Democrats. Second, Democrats have to persuade Latinos, not treat them like GOTV targets. Some Democrats automatically assume Latinos are on their team and all they have to do is get them to the polls. This is not true. Many Latinos are undecided and torn between the parties. Some are religious and family-oriented and culturally lean Republican while at the same time leaning toward the Democrats on more economic issues. Showing up early matters. In Nevada, for example, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) began advertising on Spanish-language television long before Adam Laxalt (R), and by the time he started, he was already 11 points under water. But Masto is a Latina herself and understands this. Other Democrats may not.

The bottom line in the study is that many Latinos are on the fence and have to be persuaded. For the Democrats to assume they will always vote for Democrats is foolish. They are winnable, but the Democrats need to show up and try hard. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates