Democrats have increasingly become a party shaped by and reliant upon white voters with college degrees. Compared with 40.1 percent of white adults age 25 and older, only 18.8 percent of Latino adults in that age group have a bachelor’s degree. Latinos are and increasingly will be a key part of the blue-collar work force, and their politics are reflecting that.
From Hispanics’ 71 percent support for President Barack Obama in 2012 to 66 percent for Hillary Clinton and 59 percent for Joe Biden in 2020, Democrats find themselves slowly but measurably losing hold of Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. As Latino voters grow in number in key battleground states, they are increasingly rejecting the minority construct promulgated by the media, academia and Democratic politicians and consultants.
The party that is able to express the values of a multiethnic working class will be the majority party for the next generation. As we continue to watch the country’s culture war increasingly divided by education levels, it is quite likely that Latino voters will continue to trend, even if marginally, into the ranks of Republican voters. The country stands on the precipice of a significant political shift. As President Ronald Reagan once quipped, quoting a Republican nominee for sheriff, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.”
Latino support for Democrats is softening as inflation replaces COVID as the top worry, Margaret Talev and Russell Contreras write from our Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll, in partnership with Noticias Telemundo.
Why it matters: The survey doesn't show a mass defection to the GOP. But two trends since our last survey in December are hurting President Biden's party: waning intention to vote in the midterms, and a new GOP advantage on the economy.
Between the lines: Inflation was a top worry for 52% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 28% of Democrats. COVID was a top worry for one in four Dems — but just 7% of Republicans.
- Half the 1,005 U.S. Latino adults surveyed (margin of error: ±3.7 points) said they voted in 2020.
- Just 40% said they're certain or very likely to vote in November's midterms, down from 45% in December.
The bottom line: The survey reveals strong optimism among Latinos about their ability to succeed in the U.S. despite the pandemic and inflation — and a belief in the power of hard work and family above education or inherited wealth.
- On which party they'd prefer in a hypothetical House race (generic ballot), Latinos were nearly twice as inclined to say they'd vote for a Democrat (30%) over a Republican (17%).
- Asked which party better represents "people like you," 32% said Democrats, compared with 17% for the GOP. That's a 6-point slide for Ds and 3-point gain for Rs.