Donald Trump has a special outreach to Hispanics on Cinco de Mayo. He posted this photo and message on his Facebook page today:
There’s a certain charm in how blatantly Trump is pandering to “Hispanics” here–the smile, the thumb, the delicious looking taco bowl and of course the message of love. It’s certainly not hard to discern what motivated all of this.
Having clinched the GOP nomination this week with a big win in Indiana (after which his two opponents dropped out of the race), Trump now has to start thinking about the general election. And, according to polls, he has a big problem with Latino voters. Last month Latino Decisions released a poll which asked Latino voters how they felt about the candidates in the race (plus President Obama). Here are the results:
As you can see, 87% of respondents to this poll had a negative view of Trump. Only 9% had a favorable view. That’s a problem because Latinos make up a significant portion of the electorate in states like Florida where Trump needs a win in order to win the White House.
After months of talking about the big wall on the border paid for by Mexico and suggesting he would like to deport millions of illegal immigrants currently working in the country, there has been a spike in voter registration among Latinos. The Houston Chronicle reported this week:
In the past, volunteers had to approach people and “almost twist their arms” for them to sign up to vote, said Carlos Duarte, who oversees Texas for Mi Familia Vota, a national group focused on boosting Latino voter registration.
“What is different now is that people approach us,” Duarte said. “They would always make these comments, and it was very heavily a reaction against Donald Trump.”
The Hill reported last week that there appears to be a spike in Latino voter registration, with many saying they want the chance to vote against Trump. These are signs that Trump’s rhetoric and his policy proposals have been a big turn off to this segment of the electorate. Recall that the GOP’s 2012 election autopsy report specifically warned this could be a problem:
If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies…
As one conservative, Tea-Party leader, Dick Armey, told us, “You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you.”
Trump won the nomination but in order to win the presidency he’s going to have to win back some of the Latino voters who have turned against him. Eating a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo is a start, but he’s going to have to do a lot more than that to change the outcome of the election.