Silver Lining for Republicans Among Hispanics in New Poll

Donald Trump is not popular with Hispanic voters, a new Washington Post/Univision poll reports. Although that’s the headline, it’s hardly news. But a closer look reveals worrisome signs for the Democratic Party and its current presidential frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Here are just a few details from the poll should keep Democrats awake at night:

Hispanics say the country is headed in the wrong direction. For an incumbent party trying to win its third consecutive presidential election, it cannot be encouraging to see Hispanic voters, by wide margins, telling pollsters that the country is not on the right track. Under the circumstances, a candidate campaigning on change is a compelling alternative.

Particularly worrisome for Democrats is that disillusionment is strongest among Hispanic Democrats.

Hispanics aren’t entirely convinced Democrats are more trustworthy on economic issues. Despite conventional thinking suggesting that Hispanics are single-issue voters only concerned about immigration, a variety of public opinion polls — including this latest one — find that the economy and jobs are typically the most important issues for Hispanics. Democrats have reason to worry because in a general election, the Republicans will remind Hispanic voters how little things have improved for them under eight years of President Obama’s liberal economic policies. Various economic indicators find that more Hispanics are living in poverty, looking for work and many have actually seen a decline in median monthly wages.

Particularly worrisome for Democrats is that disillusionment with the direction of the country is strongest among Hispanic Democrats

Republicans run about even with Democrats on national security. Terrorist attacks in France and in California have been a sobering reminder to Americans that we are at war with a relentless enemy that will stop at nothing to kill innocent civilians. The Obama administration has done little to assuage the public’s concern that the Democrats are capable of defeating Islamist terrorism in general or ISIS in particular. Based on this poll, Hispanic voters appear open to a pitch from Republicans that they’re better suited to handling this life-and-death issue.

About one-third of Hispanics haven’t settled on a party to support in November. Republicans should see this large number of undecided voters as an opportunity, instead of as a threat. American Enterprise Institute Arthur Brooks found that many of the Hispanic voters that sat out in the last presidential election lean conservative. Brooks recently told Opportunity Lives that what’s missing for Republicans at the moment is a way to motivate conservative-leaning Hispanics to participate in the electoral process.

Around 30 percent of Hispanic voters view Hillary Clinton unfavorably. Let that sink in for a minute. The number is unlikely to change, considering the same poll found nearly universal name ID for the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee. As Republican attacks on her record intensify, her unfavorable rating may go up further. The Democratic Party has to be nervous when the presumptive nominee is regarded so poorly among such a reliable voting bloc.

Trump’s remarks on immigration offend Hispanics — but only 29 percent say they represent the Republican Party’s position. Despite a relentless campaign by Democrats and the mainstream media to equate Trump’s views on immigration as one in the same with the GOP’s, Hispanic voters know that Republicans have differing opinions on immigration. This is encouraging — and a sign that Hispanic voters are maturing and will not easily be misled by the Democratic Party’s standard line to cast all Republicans as anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.

Israel Ortega is a Senior Writer for Opportunity Lives. You can follow him on Twitter @IzzyOrtega.