Democrats can no longer count on Hispanic voters to back them en bloc at the polls, according to a new survey released exactly 11 months before next year’s midterm elections.
The Wall Street Journal poll finds that 37 percent of Hispanic voters would support a Democrat for Congress while 37 percent would support a Republican if an election were held today, with 22 percent undecided.
By contrast, Democratic House candidates received more than 60 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2020.
Hispanic voters were also divided when asked about the possibility of a rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
According to the survey, 44 percent of Hispanic voters said they would back Biden, while 43 percent said they would pull the lever for Trump. In 2020, exit polls indicated that Biden won Hispanic voters by about a two-to-one margin.
There was more bad news for Democrats in the job approval numbers for Biden among Hispanic voters, with 54 percent disapproving of his performance and 42 percent approving — a number only slightly higher than the president’s dismal national approval rating.
Hispanic voters make up roughly 12.5 percent of eligible voters in the US and the survey indicates that many of them — particularly men — are moving toward the GOP.
According to the survey, 61 percent of Hispanic men disapprove of Biden’s job performance, 56 percent would vote for Trump if he ran against Biden in 2024, and 45 percent would vote for a Republican congressional candidate in 2022.
The poll also found that Hispanic men supported Republican economic policies over Democratic policies by a 17 percentage-point margin, while Hispanic women supported Democratic economic policies by 10 percentage points. Similarly, a majority of Hispanic men wish to reimplement policies put in place by Trump, while a majority of Hispanic women say they would rather keep Biden’s policies in place.
Hispanic voters overall hold negative opinions about the economy, with just 25 percent saying it is headed in the right direction while 63 percent say it is headed in the wrong direction.
When it came to Congress, Hispanic voters were more likely to support Republicans on issues like the economy and the border, but backed Democrats to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, infrastructure and lowering health care costs.
Shortly after last year’s election, former President Barack Obama theorized that Hispanics who voted for Trump looked past his inflammatory rhetoric and immigration policies because they were aligned on social issues.
“Those of us who live in DC or New York or LA,” Obama said during an interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio program, sometimes lack “a good enough sense of how big this country is and how a lot of folks do not accept at all” policies that people living in larger metropolitan areas take for granted.
“People were surprised about a lot of Hispanic folks who voted for Trump, but there’s a lot of evangelical Hispanics who, you know, the fact that Trump says racist things about Mexicans, or puts detainees, undocumented workers in cages — they think that’s less important than the fact that he supports their views on gay marriage or abortion,” he said.
Republicans are hoping to regain control of the House and Senate next year after two years of Democratic control of Congress and the White House. GOP operatives would have been encouraged by the result of last month’s Virginia gubernatorial election, in which victorious Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 12 percentage points among Hispanic voters.
The poll surveyed 165 Hispanic voters as part of a sample of 1,500 registered voters between Nov. 16 and 22. The margin of error of the Hispanic sample of the survey was plus or minus 7.6 percentage points, while the full poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.