Republican Latino Backfire Continues to Reverberate

Ideas and Issues National Politics

Latinos_for_Trump_rtr_imgAmersfoort, Netherlands    Donald Trump is quickly proving that he is the best Presidential nominee the Democrats may have ever had. His recent brief visit to Mexico City embarrassed the Mexican government, became a huge public and political relations disaster for the Mexican president, and totally confounded and angered both supporters and opponents in a case study of flip-flop confusion. And, this is what he managed in an effort to try and build a bridge to the Latino community that he has called rapists and criminals and threatened to deport. Can it get any better than this?

In Mexico, Trump tried to pretend he was a diplomat. President Pena Nieto was suddenly his friend. He claimed they didn’t even talk about his notion of the Great Wall of America to seal the border. President Nieto on other hand says, they won’t pay for the Great Wall, and that he had told Trump that in their meeting. But, if Trump was trying to build a bridge, he burned it as soon as he got to his rally in Arizona where he repeated that he would build the wall and that the Mexican government would pay 100%, even if they didn’t know that yet. He once again paraded families onto the stage would were allegedly victims of crimes by immigrants. He once again went all bully-boy and promised to deport people, even while saying elsewhere that he would be humane and everything would be on a case-by-case basis, or what is known in immigration circles as Obama-like. Three Republican pollsters interviewed by the Financial Times pointed out, essentially, that you “confuse the base,” then you “lose the base.”

Pew Research reports 27 million Latinos, equaling 12 percent of the total electorate, will be eligible to vote in November, an increase of 4 million in the last four years, fueled by more than 3 million Hispanics that have turned 18 years old in that period. The voter turnout from Latinos has been low historically – less than 50% — compared to 67% turnout for African-Americans and 64% turnout for white. Hillary Clinton is currently polling 66-24 over Trump, which is about the same as Obama’s numbers over Romney in the 2012 election. Even hitting the same benchmark would help Clinton, given that the Latino vote is the fastest growing segment of the total electorate, especially in a number of battleground states, and even significantly in states like Arizona and Georgia which have been consistently in the Republican column.

Voter registration efforts by Voto Latino and Mi Familia Vota are reporting much higher totals than in the last election cycle. Other experts have noted something they are calling a “Trump bump,” in the increase of citizenship applications in the community which hit a record high compared to four years ago. Others remind that of the 5 million Latinos who are eligible for naturalization and in the country legally, 3.5 million are from Mexico. These experts believe that Trump’s positions have energized the community to legalize and vote.

Jorge Ramos, the popular Univision anchor who was ejected from a Trump press conference in Iowa, was quoted as saying, “Donald Trump is the most important figure pushing Latinos to register and vote. What he has done is really push young Latinos who are turning 18 to register and go to the polls….”

Muchas gracias, Senor Trump!