View from the Left—The New Latino Threshold for Republicans ain’t 40 Percent Anymore

by Kerry Eleveld –

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For over a decade, pundits have been using the 40 percent rule with regard to the share of the Latino vote the Republican candidate needs in order to win the presidency. But now, based on new data analysis, the polling firm Latino Decisions is predicting that the GOP will need to take somewhere between 42-47 percent of the Latino vote to win the White House in 2016.In 2004, George W. Bush did exceedingly well with Latino voters and met the 40 percent threshold (some polls even estimated several points higher), and the rest was (an unfortunate) history, as they say. His relatively good showing with Latinos helped him secure Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Since then, it’s been all downhill for Republicans, with Mitt Romney tanking in 2012 at around 23-27 percent of Latino voters, depending on the poll.

But the problem with the 40 percent mark is that it has entirely failed to take into account the growth in the Latino-American population over the last decade. According to Latino Decisions, about 7.6 million Latinos voted in 2004 versus 11.2 million in 2012. Based on recent voting trends, they revealed this week that they expect about 13.1 million Latino voters to turn out in 2016.Given that reality, the firm is projecting that Republicans will need at least 42 percent of the Latino vote and might need as high as 47 percent, depending on turnout and voting patterns among various demographic groups.

Head below the fold to find out what this means for Republicans in 2016.

If in 2016, Latinos turn out at about 10.4 percent, black turnout is down slightly from 2008/2012 levels (adjusting for the bump it got from Obama’s candidacy), and white/Asian turnout is steady, Republicans will need to hit 47 percent. (That assumes that each demographic votes similarly to 2012.)

If the turnout models above hold steady but Republicans do particularly well with whites—winning 60 percent of them in 2016 rather than the 59 percent they took in 2012—then they need 42 percent of the Latino vote, which is still a significant two points higher than the 40 percent benchmark analysts have been using.No matter which way you look at it, it spells a big pile of trouble for the GOP. We just came of a week in which Donald Trump rode the wave of his racist anti-immigrant rhetoric straight to the stop of several national GOP polls: USA Today/Suffolk, Washington Post/ABC, and Fox News.

As for Latino voters, they’re not so hot on The Donald. But even more importantly, a Noticias Univisión poll, found that Hillary Clinton is trouncing the GOP candidates among Latino voters.

If the presidential election were to take place at this moment, Clinton would obtain 64% of the Hispanic votes and her closest Republican rival, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, would receive 27% according to (the) bipartisan survey.

Just to be clear, among all the GOP candidates Jeb! polls the absolute best with Latinos and he’s still 15 points shy of the lowest Latino vote threshold he’s going to need to win the White House if he’s facing off in a two-way race against Hillary Clinton.It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

And it’s more incentive than ever for Democrats to invest heavily in GOTV efforts in key swing states where Latino voters have an outsized influence.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos


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Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

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