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Politics

Democrats need to give Hispanic voters something worth voting for

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Wasn't the 2016 presidential election the event that taught us to distrust polls? Didn't almost everyone get it wrong, eroding the public's trust in both journalism and their fellow citizens, who made electoral choices that seemed to go against their own self-interest?

Welcome to the 2020 campaign season, which is already making me -- and probably many others -- want to tear my hair out.

It's because I'm looking at new poll numbers from Latino Decisions, the nation's (perhaps not incorrectly) self-proclaimed "leading polling and research firm on Latino Americans." But instead of fearing that the numbers are wrong, they seem frighteningly on-target.

Twenty-five percent of all the Latino registered voters who were polled have not only heard of President Trump but also have a very or somewhat favorable impression of him, according to the Spring 2019 national poll.

Twenty percent say that the president and Republicans are doing a good job of reaching out to Hispanics.

Seventeen percent say they will be voting for Donald Trump in 2020, and another 3% are undecided but leaning toward Trump.

 

Twenty-seven percent either strongly or somewhat agree with Trump's February decision to declare a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border and redirect money meant for military and disaster relief to build a border wall.

I was also mildly surprised to see how the registered Hispanic voters who were polled reacted to potential democratic presidential contenders. They did not jump at the Latino candidate, former housing secretary Julián Castro, as a top choice.

They weren't set on fire by Kamala Harris, a leader in the Latino-majority state of California and a woman of color who has come out strong against the Trump administration's treatment of migrants at the border.

Nope. It's Biden, with 59 percent favorability.

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