Donald Trump is sinking faster than the Titanic among swing-state Florida Hispanic voters. A new poll shows that fewer than 13 percent of these voters intend to vote for him in the November election. This alone could torpedo his entire race.
The New Latino Voice [NLV], an online poll conducted by Florida International University and Adsmovil, was just released. It showed that only 12.9 percent of Hispanic voters support the Republican presidential candidate. These voters have walled Trump out of their political lives.
Co-author of the New Latino Voice Eduardo Gamarra said this is an “historical low for a Republican candidate.” The poll consisted of Florida Hispanic voters only.
Susan MacManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida Tampa, pointed out how tight Florida’s races have been historically:
‘The Hispanic bloc in Florida is crucial, as are other groups. In 2012, Obama only beat [Mitt] Romney by 0.9%. typical of the usually tight race in Florida.’
The NLV poll results showed that Trump received a four-point bump after the Republican National Convention [RNC]. However, this poll indicates that that increase has basically dissipated. Those numbers did not move over to Hillary Clinton after her Democratic National Convention [DNC]. Instead, they moved to the “Other” column.
The poll showed Clinton carrying 76 percent of the vote. Her highest poll numbers were 81 percent in the week of July 5th. Trump carried 13 percent of the vote in this most recent NLV poll. His highest poll numbers were 16 percent, immediately after the RNC.
“Other” drew 11 percent of the Hispanic vote in the latest NLV poll. “Other” received 15 percent of the Latino vote in the week of May 10th, but then it dropped to single digits until this past week. The NLV says more Latina women would prefer “Other,” 16 percent, to “Trump,” 13 percent.
Trump can afford to offend the eligible Hispanic voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania because they make up less than 5 percent of the battleground states’ population. But in the Sunshine State, the Latino electorate represents a full 18 percent of the voters.
If Trump loses in Florida, he will give up 29 electoral votes. That could prove fatal, because that is 11 percent of the entire 270 electoral votes a candidate must have to win. Gamarra commented on the Latino vote:
‘If the voter turnout rate of Hispanics is high here, Trump runs the risk of not winning.’
Both California and Texas have higher percentages of eligible Hispanic voters. But Florida is different, because it is a “swing state.” It could go either Democratic or Republican in November.
That is not to say that there are no Republican Hispanics. Former Republican representative candidate and commentator Jorge Bonilla is one of them. This group traditionally includes the Cuban American subset, which is deeply troubled by Trump’s impact on its population. Bonilla does not support Trump and said:
‘This isn’t just my concern, it is shared by many people. We are concerned that Trump could destroy decades’ worth of Hispanic engagement efforts.’
In spite of the large Cuban American community, Trump only polls slightly better in Florida, 12.8 percent, than in the national Hispanic demographic.
Even though diversity in Florida is rapidly increasing, the vast majority of the voters are white. Real Clear Politics calculates the daily average of polls, and it shows that Trump and Hillary Clinton are tied.
One variable that could help Trump is that white voters tend to turn out to vote more strongly than other blocks of the population, such as Hispanics, according to Gamarra.
The Republican Hispanic vote was declining before the billionaire arrived on the scene. Conservative Cubans held strong anti-Castro opinions, but that group has aged. Hispanic population blocks, such as the Puerto Ricans, tend to vote for Democrats and have greatly influenced younger generations.
President Obama benefitted from these changes in his 2008 election, when he took 57 percent of Florida’s Latino vote. This demographic had been Republican since 1988. McCain earned 42 percent compared to 31 percent nationally. Mitt Romney carried 39 percent of this electorate versus 27 percent nationally, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
In the 2016 election, Gamarra anticipates the possibility that Trump will do poorly with Hispanics in Florida to the same degree as he does nationally:
‘The Hispanic Republican [base] shrinks during every election cycle in Florida.’
Analysts think that Trump intends to overwhelm his opposition with a huge showing of white males since he does poorly among women, African Americans, and Hispanics. There is no proof this strategy will work in Florida.
This NLV poll sampled 2,482 online Latino voters between July 26 and July 31.