Republican strategists have claimed that Donald Trump must win 40% of the Latino vote this November in order to secure the White House. Mitt Romney, for reference, garnered just 27% of the key voting bloc back in 2012. So, with that said, does Trump have a chance? Probably not.
According to the LA Times, “Donald Trump's support among Latinos has hit 19%, according to a new poll, which also showed Latino voters paying attention to the election and more energized to vote than in the past.” This invigoration and excitement is due to the fact that Latinos feel it is crucial to stop Trump from entering the White House. Additionally, several of Trump’s Latino advisors have left the campaign following the candidate’s decision to alienate immigrants by maintaining his harsh rhetoric and stance against those who are in the country without documentation. “He was moving toward a reasonable, pro-business and compassionate immigration plan. Tonight he was not a Republican but a populist, modern-day Father Coughlin who demonized immigrants,” said a key advisor following Trump’s speech in Phoenix on Wednesday.
While speaking with the Mexican president on Wednesday afternoon, Trump appeared to be loosening his stance on immigration, stepping back from the harsh rhetoric and policies that have branded him as a bigot and xenophobe along the campaign trail. However, when the jet landed in Arizona for the Republican candidate to deliver a speech on immigration, that movement toward compassion and humanity appeared to be all but lost. Trump buckled down on his views that immigration is harmful for the United States and that those coming in through Mexico are nothing but trouble. He harped upon his promise to construct a massive, nearly 2,000-mile-long wall along the U.S. southern border, which is designed to prevent people from entering the United States from Mexico.
The sharp turn from his position in Mexico to that in Arizona has left Latino voters who had held out some semblance of hope entirely disenchanted and disappointed. “The consensus among prominent Hispanic supporters of Trump was that the candidate had expressed to them his support for a more compassionate approach for non-criminals, but disregarded it when he spoke Wednesday night,” said Caitlin Huey-Burns of RealClearPolitics.
Jorge Ramos, the Univison reporter who had a scuffle with Trump back at the beginning of the campaign, believes that Trump has simply given up on the Latino vote. “He already lost the Hispanic vote and he already gave up on Latinos. I don’t think his plan has anything to do with Latinos. His plan, his strategy is to win the White House without Latinos. I don’t think he can do it,” he said in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
This is not just Ramos’ opinion, either. Many pundits have claimed that Trump has opted to disregard minority voters and instead focus on his loyal, yet narrow, white, alt-Right base. “Trump’s immigration speech signals he is charting a course to the White House that relies heavily on a loyal but narrow following and requires increased turnout among white voters. Moreover, it goes against the counsel of Republican campaign experts, polling data trends, and demographic arithmetic,” furthers Huey-Burns.
Do you agree that Trump has simply abandoned the Latino vote?