Are they selling any red hats in Trump’s online campaign store with “Si se puede” in place of the MAGA slogan? If not, why not?
This has become a target demographic for him. Or at least the male side of it has. More on that in a second.
Two weeks ago the chatterati was rocked by a Miami Herald poll that found Trump was leading outright with Hispanics in Miami-Dade County. Then another poll dropped the same day showing Trump ahead among Hispanics in Florida statewide by four points. Hillary Clinton won that group by 27 points four years ago and still lost the state to Trump by a point. Biden’s competitive there because he’s cutting into Trump’s margins among whites, but a Democrat in trouble with Latinos is in a very precarious position. And not just in Florida.
Two new polls this week show that he’s still not quite up to par with Clinton among Hispanics in Miami-Dade or nationwide. But he’s improved a bit in the former. Maybe Hispanic voters are shifting towards him down the stretch?
Biden leads Trump by a 21-point margin in Miami-Dade County, 58%-37%.
Among Hispanic voters, Biden leads by 10 percentage points. That’s lower than his lead overall, but contrasts results from a Miami Herald/Bendixen & Amandi International poll that showed Biden and Trump running almost even among Hispanics.
The Miami Herald poll found Biden up 17 points overall in Miami-Dade but a point behind Trump among Latinos there, 47/46. This new one suggests that they’ve come around to him a bit since he turned up in the state to ask for their votes last week. But he’s still behind Clinton’s pace: She won Miami-Dade by 30. And in the Miami Herald survey Cuban-Americans broke for Trump by 38 points after they’d split roughly evenly between Obama and Romney in 2012.
Same story nationally, per NBC. Biden’s leading among Hispanic voters, just not comfortably enough. He’s up 62/26 over Trump after Hillary won that group 63/16 four years ago. If Biden were able to consolidate Latinos to the same degree Clinton did, especially in Florida, he might put the race away.
Talking heads have been puzzling over Trump’s surprising strength with Hispanics for weeks now. What’s his secret? Analysts have dug deeper into the numbers and concluded that Trump’s not really overperforming with Latinos generally, he’s overperforming with Latino men, specifically. That is, the topline numbers for that racial demographic are disguising a gender gap that’s showing up in many other places this year, sometimes to an outlandish degree. “Thirty-one percent of Latino men are backing Trump over Biden, compared to just 22 percent of Latinas,” NBC notes of its own data. Both Politico and The Atlantic have also had pieces lately noting that Latino men seem warmer to Trump than they were to other recent Republican nominees. Some of the theories as to why are, uh, provocative:
Soto, who became the first person of Puerto Rican descent in the state to win a congressional seat, said Biden has another dynamic working against him as well with some Latino men.
“There is some machismo in our community, unfortunately,” said Soto.
“There’s good machismo,” Soto said, and there is “caudillo machismo,” referring to henchman-style leaders, whose style sometimes appeals to Latino men. For fans of caudillo machismo, he said, Trump’s aggressiveness appeals.
That’s from Politico, which notes one recent poll of Florida found Biden ahead by 21 points among Hispanic women but just 10 points among Hispanic men. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic speculates that it’s Trump’s businessman image that’s drawing Hispanic men to him, but either way, the effect is real — especially among younger Latinos:
Unlike the Cuban American phenomenon, which is confined almost entirely to Florida, this appears to be a national phenomenon. In Arizona, for example, only half of Latino men under 50 say they will vote for Biden, far fewer than the nearly 70 percent of young Latina women. Among older Latinos in Arizona, there is practically no difference between male and female preferences, with Biden’s edge among women at just 3 percent.
The gender gap among young Latino voters is “one of the most significant new developments in the Latino vote today,” Lopez said. It reflects a broader gender gap in the U.S. electorate. As late as the 1970s, there was scarcely any difference between male and female voters. But in the past four decades, women have edged toward the Democratic Party, while men moved into the GOP. In 2016, Clinton won the popular vote by several million ballots with just 41 percent of male support. As net immigration from Mexico and Central America continues to decline, third- and fourth-generation Latino men (i.e., whose grandparents or great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S.) seem to be less likely to consider themselves “Latino” or “Hispanic” and more likely to vote like white men, the GOP’s demographic sweet spot.
That last bit is a fascinating gloss on identity politics. Both parties tend to approach young Hispanic men as “Hispanics.” Approaching them simply as “young men,” especially if their roots in the U.S. go back generations, might provide a better clue as to how they’re processing their electoral choice this year.
As I say, by no means is the gender gap unique to Latino voters. The Des Moines Register dropped a poll this morning that found Iowa, a state Trump won by 10 points in 2016, now dead even at 47. How’s Biden doing it? Simple: He’s offsetting a gigantic Trump lead among men there with an almost equally gigantic lead among women. The DMR finds the president up 21 points among male voters while the former VP leads by 20 among females, leading pollster Ann Selzer to say, “I don’t know that there’s any race in the history of presidential polling in Iowa that shows this kind of division.” If Trump loses the presidency this fall, we’ll be able to sum up his defeat in one word: Women.
The DMR poll is also useful here as a way to keep the Florida/Miami-Dade results in perspective, though. Florida is crucially important, of course — Trump almost certainly loses the election if he loses there — but Biden has a lot of red states on the back burner right now that could help get him to 270 even if Florida falls through. Iowa is worth six electoral votes; Georgia is worth 16, and a new poll out of that state today also finds Biden and Trump deadlocked at 47. Combined, those two states are worth more EVs than Pennsylvania. And the fact that Biden is competitive in Iowa is a bracing reminder of Trump’s big liability this time around, namely that he’s not quite as strong among white voters as he was last time. Given how many more whites there are in the U.S. than Hispanics, Biden will happily trade Trump a few percentage points among the latter group for a few points among the former.