New data confirm that a core part of Donald Trump’s support lies in the Hispanic community where he outperforms both Mitt Romney and John McCain. This seeming contradiction is borne out by a series of polls showing that Trump’s support among Hispanics is both strong and durable. This despite all of the name calling and hand-wringing from the GOP’s “wise men” about how Trump will permanently alienate Hispanics and will destroy the Republican Party.
It also gives the lie to the conventional Republican wisdom – usually wrong anyway – that the way to win the Hispanic vote is to copy the tactics of the Left and treat Hispanics as grievance group to be appeased with government giveaways. Conservatives have always said that we could never outbid the Left when it comes to government favors, but many were lured by the siren song of consultants and intellectuals who said the only way to win elections is to win Hispanics and the only way to win Hispanics is to endorse amnesty and open borders.
It turns out conservatives should have stuck to their principles – talk to Hispanics like Americans. Period. That’s what Donald Trump does. For all of the efforts to paint Trump as a racist/hater/divider/Hitlerwannabe the guy talks to everybody the same way and he talks about America as one who is proud of her and wants his countrymen – all of them – to be feel that same pride.
The most current data comes from a just-released Quinnipiac Poll of likely voters that shows Trump and Clinton in a statistical tie and neither candidate gaining a majority of support. The polls gives Trump 42% support to Clinton’s 44% – numbers that are inside the poll’s margin of error. Among Hispanics, Trump is getting 33% support which is better than Romney (27%) or McCain (31%) received.
What is more interesting is that in 2016 Hispanics represent a larger share of the electorate than in 2008 or 2012. Pew Research says that in 2008 there were 19.5 million Hispanic who were eligible to vote. In 2012 there were 23.5 million. By 2016 Pew Research estimates that there will be 27.3 million – a record high. So not only is Trump carrying a larger share of Hispanics – he’s claiming a bigger piece of a bigger pie.
This Quinnipiac polling is consistent with other recent data points that show Trump doing very well with Hispanics. In particular there was the large Big Data study out earlier in the month that showed Trump enjoying 37% support. Such support with Hispanics is part of Trump’s enduring success and must confound Republican intellectuals and political pros who thought the only way to win Hispanic votes was with government handouts and good old fashioned ethnic pandering. It’s crass, immoral, and, it turns out, incorrect.
More than anything else it says something about Trump’s optimistic message about American greatness. His success among Hispanics should be a wake-up call for conservatives: stick to your principles and talk to people like people. Stop dividing the country into demographic grievance groups and talk to Americans about America. It’s consistent with our principles and it’s the only way to win.