Unlike Asian Americans, so many pixels have already been spilled on the hate-hate relationship between Trump and Latinos. Today’s post attempts to take a deeper dive into why Trump’s total alienation from Latinos dooms his presidential bid in Florida.
Florida was long viewed as very safe Republican turf before it morphed into the ultimate swing state in 2000. Long term trends combined with Trump’s anti-Latino vitriol will heave the state more strongly towards Team Blue.
Anti-Communist Cuban voters have long provided crucial support to Florida’s Republican Party. Those days, however, are rapidly coming to an end, as this chart from Pew shows:
Why is this happening? For a start, young Cuban Americans are much more Democratic than their elders. In contrast to those who fled the Castro dictatorship in the 1960s, young people and more recent arrivals take a more nuanced view of relations with Cuba. Two-thirds under age 49 now oppose the American embargo and Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba has net support of +20 among Cuban Americans of all ages.
Trump is also incredibly unpopular among Cuban Americans:
Donald Trump is the catalyst who could force a decisive break between Miami-Dade County’s influential Cuban-American voters and the Republican Party, a new poll has found.
Local Cuban Americans dislike Trump so much — and are increasingly so accepting of renewed U.S.-Cuba ties pushed by Democratic President Barack Obama — that Trump’s likely presidential nomination might accentuate the voters’ political shift away from the GOP, according to the survey shared with the Miami Herald and conducted by Dario Moreno, a Coral Gables pollster and a Florida International University associate politics professor.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents supported Trump, a number that is still higher than the 31 percent who backed Clinton — but also “the lowest in history that any potential Republican candidate polls among this traditionally loyal demographic,” according to Moreno.
By the way, Moreno is the demographic–he’s a Republican Cuban American who won’t vote for Trump.
Beyond the strong Democratic trend among Cuban Americans, the share of Cuban Americans among all Latinos has been declining at the expense of much more Democratic Latino groups. Indeed, Cuban Americans now form less than one-third of Florida Latinos:
The share of Puerto Ricans has risen rapidly with many settling in the Orlando area. Due to the economic crisis on the island, a stunning 9.1% of its residents have left for the mainland from 2005 to 2015. Florida’s Puerto Rican population now rivals New York’s.
Puerto Ricans are American citizens and can vote in presidential elections the moment they move to the mainland. And they are an extremely Democratic constituency, as are the other non-Cuban Latinos in Florida.
The Overall Impact
Pew’s statistics also reveal that share of Democrats has been rising more broadly due to the shift among Cuban Americans and the rise of other Democratic-leaning Latino constituencies:
On the whole, Florida Latinos really don’t like Donald Trump. Among the entire group, Latino Decisions reports that 84% have an unfavorable view of the Donald, as compared to just 12% who like the orange guy with the club in Palm Beach.
Latino Decisions estimates that Trump needs 47% of the Latino vote to carry Florida:
Does anyone think Trump is going to get anywhere near this figure? Even if his share of the white vote rises, strong Latino support gives Clinton a nice cushion.