Last night in Las Vegas, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the following during his Nevada Caucus victory speech:

46% with the Hispanics. Number one with Hispanics, I’m really happy about that.

The mainstream political media ran with Trump’s statements (it was 44% of entrance polls) and news that his message is appealing to the Latino vote, despite the fact that very few outlets are making the distinction that the Nevada numbers are just a very small sample of the very small world of Nevada’s Latino Republicans. In fact, there is some doubt about the accuracy of the polls and it is not the first time sweeping uninformed generalizations about Trump and Latinos have been made. Furthermore, in neighboring California, a recent Field Poll has Trump’s unfavorables with Latino Republicans at 85%.

A new analysis from Latino Decisions, whose co-founders work for the Hillary Clinton campaign, has also concluded that the media’s claims about Trump’s Latino popularity in Nevada are misleading.

However, it is safe to say (and Pew has already confirmed this) that Latino Republicans are not a large demographic, when compared to Latino Democrats. And there has been national polling data since last summer to suggest that Trump still has a “Latino problem” in a general election. Here are just some examples:

MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist, December 2015
This poll, which NPR’s Latino USA wrote about last year, has Trump still doing poorly against Clinton with Latinos in a national election: 27% for Trump and 69% for Clinton. The on Republican candidate who does well with Latinos against Clinton is Marco Rubio at 38% to Clinton’s 57%.

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) Survey, November 2015
The PRRI poll had Trump with 80% unfavorables with Latinos.


Gallup Tracking Poll, August 2015
This tracking poll from Gallup showed Trump as the most unfavorable Republican candidate at the time:


[Trump’s controversial comments] have turned him into a pariah among Hispanics, 82 percent of whom view him unfavorably (68 percent strongly so).

Washington Post/ABC News, August 2015
An earlier poll said this:

[Trump’s controversial comments] have turned him into a pariah among Hispanics, 82 percent of whom view him unfavorably (68 percent strongly so).

Univision Poll, June/July 2015

The first poll to explore the Latino Vote in 2016 made this conclusion about Trump’s June comments about Mexican immigrants and how many Latino Republicans would vote for him at the time of the poll:

Univision’s exclusive interview reveals that Hispanic voters overwhelmingly reject Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants and give him bad grades as a presidential candidate. 79 % of respondents consider Trump’s comments offensive. Only 18 % don’t consider them that way. As a result, 71 % have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, only 17 % have a favorable opinion, and 12 % have no opinion of him. If the Republican primaries and caucuses were held today, Trump would receive just 7 % of Hispanic Republicans’ votes, way less than Jeb Bush’s 38 % , Marco Rubio’s 22 % , and Ted Cruz’s 12 %. And if presidential elections were held now, Hillary Clinton would easily beat Trump among Hispanic voters. She would get 70 % of their votes and Trump 16 %.

Nonetheless, the bigger question is this: Does Trump even need the Latino vote to win later this year? There is some thinking that he doesn’t. Latino voter turnout growth in 2016 might still be flat, and one conservative columnist thinks the GOP already has a winning strategy if it follows this path:

…assume that Republicans get 9 percent from black voters, 32 percent from Hispanics and 35 percent from Asians and others — all numbers lower than the percentages George W. Bush won in 2004. In that case Republicans would just need to do two points better among whites to score their biggest electoral win since 1988, carrying Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

2 thoughts on “The National Polls That Say Donald Trump Still Has a ‘Latino Problem’

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