Three-quarters of Latino voters back Clinton, and they are turning out in record numbers

Donald Trump has the lowest levels of Latino support for any Republican candidate since 1980s, even as Clinton’s popularity surpasses that of Obama

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 November, 2016, 10:14am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 November, 2016, 12:23pm

Not only are Latino voters set for record turnout this election, but their support for Donald Trump may be lower than that for any Republican presidential candidate in more than 30 years.

Hillary Clinton has support from 76 per cent of the Latino electorate, according to the Noticias Telemundo/Latino Decisions /NALEO Educational Fund poll released Sunday.

That’s more than Barack Obama won in both of his elections. Latino Decisions’ survey showed 75 per cent of Latinos backed Obama in 2012. Exit polling put his support at 71 per cent.

Just 14 per cent of Latino voters backed Trump, the survey found, That’s about half of Mitt Romney’s 27 per cent showing with Latinos and less than the 21 per cent Bob Dole won in 1996.

Polling in California found similar results, according to the final statewide University of Southern California Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey. Clinton was winning 73 per cent of Latino registered voters, compared with 17 per cent for Trump in a two-way matchup.

Exit data compiled by the Pew Hispanic Centre shows no Republican candidate faring worse with Latinos in presidential elections dating to 1980.

Republicans approached this election year hoping to improve their standing with Latinos, a growing part of the electorate. But their candidate seems to have had the opposite effect.

Trump’s criticism of Latino immigrants as “rapists” and criminals set a tone when he launched his campaign, amplified by his proposals to deport those in the US illegally and to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

A “Trump bump” in early voting by Latinos already has been documented in recent days in Florida, Nevada, Texas and some other states.

Voter registration drives have been robust for the past year in many Latino and immigrant communities, and now many advocacy groups are working to ensure that Latino voters get to the polls.

Almost 15 million Latinos could vote this year, a record, and polling shows the Latino electorate puts more importance on voting this year than in 2012.