Donald Trump’s Latino Problem

It was a bit over a year ago that Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency with his now famous tirade against Mexican immigrants. Out of the gate, Trump alienated a rapidly-growing constituency—Latinos. In the first public opinion survey of Latino voters after Trump’s entry into the race, conducted by Univision Noticias in June and July of last year, 71 percent of respondents said their view of Trump was unfavorable. In a matchup with Hillary Clinton, just 16 percent of Latinos said they would vote for Trump.

So, what’s happened in the year during which Trump has gone from being a candidate to being the presumptive nominee?

Trump chart

Another survey in July of 2015 of Latino adults, conducted by The Washington Post-ABC News, showed that 81 percent of Latinos viewed trump unfavorably. 64 percent of respondents in this poll had strongly unfavorable views of Trump.

In September, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal conducted a national poll with an oversample of Latinos, and 72 percent of those Latinos said they had negative feelings towards Trump, with 65 percent having strongly negative feelings. This poll showed an uptick in support for Trump in a matchup with Clinton—a whopping 17 percent said they would vote for Trump.

By February of 2016, not much had changed. A Washington Post-Univision News survey of Latino voters found that 72 percent viewed Trump very unfavorably, with an additional 9 percent saying they had a “somewhat unfavorably” opinion of him. In a Trump-Clinton match up, Trump gets 16 percent of the Latino vote.

Gallup noted that in its tracking survey of Latinos that extended from January 2 to March 8, as Latinos become more familiar with Trump, they became more likely to view him unfavorably. By the end of the survey, 77 percent of Latinos said they had an unfavorable view of Trump.

Latino Decisions, a firm that specializes in surveys of Latinos, conducted a survey of Latino registered voters in April, and found that 87 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of Trump. Trump’s promise to deport all undocumented immigrants certainly did not help him—83 percent of respondents said that this position makes them “much less” likely to vote for him. This survey found that in a Trump-Clinton match, Trump only gets 11 percent of the vote. Latinos told researchers they were enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming election, and the chief reason for their enthusiasm was to vote against Trump.

A Fox News Latino poll in May found a little more charity for Trump. Only 74 percent of the Latino registered voters asked in this poll said they had an unfavorable view of Trump, and in a matchup with Clinton, Trump would take nearly a quarter of the vote (23 percent).

From this high point, Trump’s approval rating took another dive after his comment that a judge sitting on a case in which Trump is being sued should excuse himself because he is “Mexican.” Another Washington Post-ABC News poll of Latino adults, conducted earlier this month (June) showed that 89 percent of Latinos have an unfavorable view of trump, with 76 percent having a strongly unfavorable view.

One thing you can say about Trump as a candidate: He’s consistent.

Author: Maurice Belanger

Maurice Belanger is an analyst and writer with more than 25 years experience working in the field of immigration policy.

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