Politico has a group of several hundred political insiders located in ten states which it refers to as the Politico caucus. Once a week, the site does an informal poll of this caucus on some topic of interest regarding the 2016 race. This week, Politico asked their group of insiders about Donald Trump’s chances with Latino voters:
Mitt Romney won 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, according to exit polls. Nearly half of GOP insiders, 48 percent, said they think Trump will win a smaller percentage this fall, compared to 27 percent who think he will win a larger percentage, and 25 percent who said he would win about the same percentage.
Among those GOP insiders who said Trump would underperform Romney’s 2012 campaign, their comments were more quips than expanded analysis.
“Is zero a smaller percentage?” teased an Ohio Republican.
“How do you say ‘not a chance in hell’ in Español?” asked a Florida Republican.
“Slim and none,” joked another Ohio Republican, “and slim has left the room.”
“Smaller,” said a Virginia Republican, “because, you know: reality.”
A Pennsylvania Republican said the “real question” is whether Trump can outperform Bob Dole’s 21 percent showing in 1996, the historical low-water mark for Republican candidates.
To be fair here, the insiders in the Politico caucus have not been very enthusiastic about Trump thus far. Earlier this month when Trump clinched the nomination less than 40% said they were ready to support him in the general election.
Still, it’s hard to see how statements like the ones Trump has made about the judge presiding over the Trump University case are going to do anything but hurt him. Trump has accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel of having a conflict of interest because of his “Mexican heritage.” Curiel is not an illegal immigrant. He’s an American citizen who was born in Indiana.
The actual evidence for how Trump is doing with Latinos is mixed. One online poll by NBC/SurveyMonkey shows him getting 32 percent support but several other recent polls show him dropping behind Romney’s 27 percent into the low 20s or high teens.