A new poll shows that Hispanics have an especially negative view of real estate tycoon and Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump, with 80 percent of those polled saying they have an unfavorable opinion of him.
These results come not long after Trump came in first at the Nevada caucuses and won among the Hispanic voters who participated. But while Trump boasted, “Number one with Hispanics!” after his victory, the win is hardly representative of the whole state. As CNN reported, the caucuses were only open to voters already registered as Republicans prior to the vote. In addition, only 8 percent of the participants meaning about 125 people were Hispanic.
The poll, released by the Washington Post and Univision News, asked a variety of questions, including whether voters would vote for Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton or Trump in the general election. 73 percent of pollsters chose Clinton, while just 16 percent picked Trump (10 percent responded with “no opinion”). Similarly, when asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders and Trump, 72 percent of respondents chose Sanders, compared to just 16 percent once again for Trump.
Those numbers do not come as a shock since most Hispanic voters support the Democratic party. 51 percent of those questioned said they would support the Democratic candidate whether it was Clinton or Sanders, but only 14 percent said they would support any Republican candidate who got the nomination. 32 percent were unsure, and 3 percent did not have an opinion. In a separate question, 62 percent of respondents said they trusted the Democratic party to improve Hispanic lives, while just 18 percent picked the Republican party.
But Trump failed to take the victory even in his own party. When Republican primary voters were asked who they would support if their state caucuses were taking place that day, 34 percent picked Sen. Marco Rubio, while 22 percent chose Trump and 21 percent picked Sen. Ted Cruz.
Despite Trump’s lead among voters overall, his unfavorable opinion from the Hispanic community could hurt him in the election. A recent Pew Research Center study revealed that millennial Latinos are the largest group of eligible voters in the country, so if enough of them make it out to the polls, this could hurt Trump’s chances at victory.
Trump’s History with the Hispanic Community and Alleged Support
Trump garnered massive media attention when he declared his bid for presidency in June and, in this very same speech, revealed his hard stance on immigration and calling the U.S. “a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.” He also called Mexicans “rapists” and criminals before saying, “And some, I assume, are good people.”
Following backlash (including from NBC, a longtime partner of Trump’s), Trump came to his own defense: “I do great with Latino voters. I employ so many Latinos, I have so many people working for me. The Latinos love Trump, and I love them.”
Despite this assertion, however, he maintained a similar tone to that of his announcement speech as his campaign unfolded. Over the course of his campaign, he has repeatedly promised to build “a great big wall” to keep Mexican immigrants from entering the U.S., and he said that Mexico will pay for the wall to be built. He also expressed his support for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” policy, which resulted in the deportation of over 1 million people to Mexico as well as the deaths of many immigrants.
Even with all of this hateful speech, word spread that Hispanics still supported Trump, and many questioned how this could be. A SurveyUSA poll from September found that, between Trump and Clinton, 50 percent of Hispanics would vote for Clinton, while 31 percent would pick Trump. 27 percent of respondents said they believed Trump would be the Republican nominee, coming in second to former Gov. Jeb Bush, who is no longer in the race, at 28 percent.
However, more credible sources found that Hispanic support for Trump has likely never been that prominent. A poll released last August by the Washington Post found that only 15 percent of Hispanics had a favorable view of Trump. Those results are not far off from the latest ones, which give Trump a 16 percent favorable view among Hispanics.
If Trump continues his anti-immigration rhetoric, he will likely not change this dismal rating. 74 percent of pollsters from the most recent poll said they find Trump’s immigration policies offensive, and 82 percent said they would like the next president to be one who supports a legal path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Despite the negative feelings towards Trump, and the low support for the Republican party overall, the majority of Hispanic voters 64 percent associate Trump’s hateful views with Trump specifically and not necessarily the Republican party as a whole.