Political insiders have wondered for decades how to motivate Latinos to vote. Now they have their answer: Donald Trump.
Trump is poised to win today’s primary in Indiana, and if he does he will have a clear path to the GOP nomination for President, most political experts agree. The dawning realization that the Republican nominee will likely be Trump has led to a spike in voter registration for Latinos. And they’re not registering to vote FOR him either.
Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008.
A whopping 80 percent of respondents in a poll of registered Hispanic voters in Colorado and Nevada said Trump’s views on immigration made them less likely to vote for Republicans in November. In Florida, that number was 68 percent.
The figures are sparking confident tones from Democrats, who think their party’s nominee will benefit from a huge advantage in the fall not only in the presidential race but also in battles for the House and Senate.
Many of the newly registered Hispanic voters are in relatively safe states for Democrats (California) and Republicans (Texas). But rising registration rates among Hispanics in swing states of Colorado, Florida and Nevada could make it easier for the Democratic candidate to capture them. If Trump proves especially toxic, even states like Arizona and Georgia could be in play.
It’s Trumps loud demands to close the border that have motivated Latinos, not just the policy itself (most wouldn’t be directly affected by it) but the ugliness of the rhetoric, including Trump’s most ardent supporters.
Does anyone want to take bets on whether Trump will double down on the rhetoric?