Axios: Sure looks like Dems need to worry about losing Latinos

Axios: Sure looks like Dems need to worry about losing Latinos
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

¡Es la economía, estúpido! It may be even more than that, but the economic travails of the Joe Biden era have begun to drain Democrats’ support among Hispanic voters, a new Axios poll reports. Compared to other polling, though, this might qualify as good news for Democrats, in that it doesn’t show much Republican gain.


Latino support for Democrats is softening as inflation replaces COVID-19 as the top worry, according to the latest Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo.

Why it matters: The survey does not show a mass defection to the Republican Party. But two trends since our last survey in December are hurting President Biden and his party: waning intention to vote in the midterms and a new GOP advantage on which party is better for the economy. …

What they’re saying: “Getting prices under control is very clearly the number one priority for the majority of Hispanics and Latinos, and it underscores the challenges Biden is facing now,” said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.

“There’s not really a single issue that’s super-dominant, but we’re seeing a shift from a focus on COVID and COVID-related issues much more to inflation, cost pressures, supply chain breakdowns.”

It’s tough to get too detailed about these results; Axios doesn’t provide access to the data. It’s among adults rather than registered voters too, with only half of the sample saying they voted in the 2020 election. That seems rather light, considering the big turnout in the presidential election.

Axios’ findings don’t seem terribly dramatic, either. The generic ballot shifted since the previous survey in December, but only by three points in the gap. It’s still 30/17 for Democrats, and there’s only been a six-point slide in the gap on which party better represents “people like you” to 32/17. Joe Biden’s approval rating among Latinos has only dropped within the MoE from 53% to 49%, and likewise for midterm voting enthusiasm, dropping from 45% to 40%. The trends are going the wrong way for Democrats, but perhaps only in the range of statistical noise.

A Democratic  poll among Hispanic voters earlier this week covered by NBC News also looked more incremental than wave-ish:

Heading into the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans have been riding a wave of positive press about their gains among Hispanic voters as Democrats fret about hemorrhaging support from the fast-growing demographic.

But while Democrats clearly have a problem, the GOP’s growing support among Latinos is less dramatic than some headlines suggest, according to a new poll conducted by a top Latino Democratic pollster and underwritten by a conservative Spanish-language network.

About 48 percent of Hispanics nationwide consider themselves Democrats, and only 23 percent identify as Republican, the poll found. Hispanic voters give President Joe Biden a positive job-approval rating, 48 percent to 29 percent, in contrast to disapproval of 54 percent to 44 percent among registered voters overall in the most recent NBC News poll.

However, Marc Caputo points out more substantial warning signs for Democrats:

Still, the poll bears numerous warning signs for Democrats. By a double-digit margin, more Hispanic Democrats are considering leaving their party compared to Hispanic Republicans. Such potential party-switchers are mainly becoming independents or third-party voters — and they also tend to line up more with Republicans on some issues.

Overall, Hispanic voters are more likely than not to think the country is moving in the wrong direction, by a margin of 5 percentage points, according to the poll. Also by a margin of 5 percentage points, a majority agreed with the statement “The Democratic Party has been kidnapped by progressives.” On each of these, independents aligned more with Republicans than Democrats.

For a demonstration of that point, one needs to go no further than this result from the ICR Miami/Americano Media survey. Democrats keep going out of their way to refer to this demo as “Latinx,” as a way to de-gender the gendered Spanish-language inspired term. Poll after poll shows Hispanic voters shunning this label, and this one’s no exception:

Only 1.6% of Hispanic Democrats use the term “Latinx.” Even among the Greens, progressives who generally see Democrats as too conservative for their taste, just 12.5% of Hispanics use that term. This is precisely what James Carville meant when he warned Democrats to stop talking like the “faculty lounge.”

Speaking of whom, let’s get back to the economy, stupid. The ICR survey also shows that Hispanics aren’t blaming Donald Trump for inflation. To the extent they blame policy, they’re blaming Biden:

Worth noting: In another chart, Hispanic Democrats are more likely to blame Trump, but not by as wide a margin as one might assume. A majority of Hispanic Dems (52.5%) blame the pandemic and 25.7% blame Trump’s economic policies, but 13.8% of them blame Biden’s. Among independents, the split has almost twice as many blaming Biden (27.6%) to Trump (15.6%). Among the few that don’t identify in any category including independents, 31% blame Biden and none blame Trump.

The pandemic gets the plurality of blame, but that’s not going to last for long. After all, it’s Joe Biden who’s been managing the pandemic, which means at some point those chickens will come home to roost at the White House. If inflation is still running hot in November, voters — including Hispanic voters — will start looking at Biden, not the pandemic.

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