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During Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, he won 40 points of the Hispanic vote ahead of Mitt Romney — 70 percent to 30 percent, according to Catalist, a political research firm. Four years later, Hillary Clinton did even better, beating Donald Trump by 42 percentage points among Hispanic voters.

But then something changed.

Economy became even stronger at the start of Trump’s presidency compared to the Obama era. Democratic Party move further to the left compared to the Obama era. Trump turned out to have a masculine attraction, especially with some Hispanic men. And some Hispanic voters become frustrated with the long time Covid stopped working.

Whatever the full explanation, Hispanic voters have shifted to the right over the past few years. As a group, they still prefer the Democrats, but the margin has narrowed significantly. In 2020, Joe Biden won only 26 percentage points in the group. And in this year’s midterms, the Democratic lead is akin to Biden’s 2020 returns, according to New York Times/Siena College latest poll – an indication that change is not just a flashpoint of an election:

The problem for Democrats is that winning the Spaniard’s vote by just 20 points may not be enough for the party to accomplish its main goals.

“Don’t forget that 2020 Hispanic support is almost catastrophic for Democrats,” Nate Cohn, chief political analyst for The Times, told me. It helped with the cost of party seats in California, Florida, and Texas and allowed Republicans to comfortably win statewide races in Florida and Texas. It almost got Trump re-elected.

Democrats need to do better with Hispanic voters (or reverse some of their recent losses with white voters) to build solid parliamentary dictatorships. The party currently controls the Senate by a single vote, and Republicans are given priority to take control of the House by midterm this year.

“The whole theory of Democrats actually benefiting from the demographic shift depends on them winning the Hispanic vote. by a wide margin,” said Nate. Without a better performance, the Democrats probably couldn’t turn the tide Florida or Texaseven as they face a growing Republican threat in the Midwest because of the continued drift of white voters away from the Democratic Party.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll find out why a significant minority of Hispanic voters also seem to be moving in the right direction.

As you think about the data below, I encourage you not to focus all your attention on the answer that receives support from most respondent. Remember that Democrats don’t just need to win Hispanic voters; party need to do so manually. When only a majority of Hispanic voters support the Democratic position, it is a sign that Republicans can seize the issue to win voters.

Nate tried to find out which Hispanic voters were on the right track by creating a small group of poll respondents: those who said they voted for a mix of Democrats and Republicans. Republican in recent elections and say they are planning to vote Republican this year.

This subgroup makes up 17% of the total Hispanic electorate. More people have signed up as Democrats than Republicans, regardless of their intent to vote this year. They are even more tilted towards the working class (with about 80% without a bachelor’s degree) and the young (with nearly 60% under 45) than the Hispanic electorate as a whole. More than half are men, but the group also includes many women.

Overall, those in the group say the Democrats have gone too far on social issues. They say economic issues like jobs, taxes and the cost of living will affect their 2022 vote more than social issues like guns, abortion and democracy.

Essentially, Hispanic voters drifting to the right appear to be pocket voters, focused more on their day-to-day lives than on the debates that divide the nation.

Looking more broadly at all Hispanic adults, I found the chart below helpful. It displays 10 questions from the poll, ranked from liberal to conservative, based on responses from Hispanic respondents:

On issues at the top of the rankings, Democrats appear to be in a stronger position, including abortion, climate change and student debt. On key issues, Hispanic adults support the progressive stance less strongly than they support the Democratic Party, suggesting the party may be vulnerable.

For example, neither gun policy nor immigration is as much of an issue for Democrats as many might think. “I know this country is a country of immigrants, but they should immigrate legally,” Amelia Alonso Tarancon, 69, who lives outside Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told The Times.

The most nuanced issue possible is the economy. On the one hand, Hispanics say that the Democratic Party is the party of the working class and agree with many of the views of the Democratic Party. However, the problem remains a problem for the party.

My colleagues Jennifer Medina, who is based in California and active in politics, told me she thinks the Democratic party’s identity as the party of the working class cuts both ways. “I spoke to some Latinos, especially men, who told me a version of this: ‘I grew up hearing that the Democrats are the party of the poor. But I didn’t want to be poor, so I became a Republican,” Jennifer said. Many of them, she added, run small businesses.

Another problem for Democrats, according to the poll, is that many voters – belonging to racial groups – do not appear to be aware of the nature of the economic policies that Biden and Democrats have enacted about infrastructure, healthcare, energy and more. Many of these policies seem to too delicate and complicated for voters to understand.

(This recent story — by Jennifer, Jazmine Ulloa and Ruth Igielnik — goes into more detail on the strength of both Republicans and Democrats among Hispanic voters.)

For most of the past few decades, Hispanic voters have supported the Democrats so strongly that many consider them a safe Democratic constituency, along with Black, Jewish and Jewish voters. and secular university graduates. Instead, Hispanic voters seem to fall somewhere between these reliably progressive groups and working-class whites — and have become an important pivot in American politics.

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