In Donald Trump‘s fact-challenged world, he “won the Hispanics,” he said after winning the Indiana presidential preference primary this week.
But now that he has cleared the Republican primary field, what chance does Trump really have to win Hispanic votes in November’s general election?
It is going to be difícil or difficult.
Trump’s negative rating is 77 percent among Latinos, according to a national Gallup poll. In Florida, Hispanics are even more sour on the New York businessman, with 87 percent viewing Trump unfavorably, compared with 42 percent for Hillary Clinton.
So it seems Trump would have to do some serious fence mending and it would have to be a “huge” effort. Even so, he still may not make it because most Hispanics lean Democrat and an increasing number are independent. Trump needs about 40 percent of the national Hispanic vote – to say nothing of the Latino vote in a swing state like Florida – to win the keys to the White House. And that’s a Republican Party estimate.
In his speech after the Indiana primary, Trump said nothing – nada – about “building that big beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border which he has used as bait to attract an anti-immigrant vote. As if to wipe the slate clean.
But Hispanics remember. After all, Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexicans during his very first outing to announce his presidential candidacy.
Here in Florida, about 57 percent of the state’s foreign born are Latinos, according to the census. More than half of these are citizens and can cast a ballot in November.
News stories from the West Coast and other places state that Latino immigrants are becoming citizens in order to vote this year. It’s a deja vu of the mid 1990s when California Gov. Pete Wilson launched a tirade against immigrants that effectively turned the state blue. California has elected only one Republican governor since then – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
No, Donald Trump hasn’t “won the Hispanics.” That’s a wall that even he may not be able to scale.
˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor