Are Latino voters tiptoeing right?

The numbers are more intriguing for Latino men, 55% of whom opposed the California recall. Three years ago Mr. Newsom won 61%. It isn’t an exact comparison: Tuesday’s ballot was a yes-or-no question about booting a politician in the middle of his term. The 2018 race was a head-to-head matchup, and that year’s Republican nominee fared poorly overall.

But the Democratic dip is interesting particularly because it follows a trend. Exit polls from 2020 say that Mr. Trump, while losing the election, improved his share of the Latino vote by four points. He won five Texas counties where the population was at least 80% Latino, all of which he’d lost in 2016, according to the L.A. Times.

Another data point: Javier Villalobos won an election this June to become the Republican mayor of McAllen, Texas, a border town of about 140,000 that is 85% Hispanic. No one is predicting a total realignment, and the effect Tuesday wasn’t big enough to make Larry Elder the next Governor of California. But in a country that’s about evenly split, a little shift can matter, and it’s no longer easy to dismiss this as a fluke.