Not so fast, Democrats. President Donald Trump's immigration reform and border wall push is actually a winning strategy, not a deal-breaker for Hispanic voters, which will be the largest minority group in 2020, political analyst David S. Bernstein writes.
"Remember: pollsters in 2016 thought Trump would get only about 18 percent of the Hispanic vote; he actually got 28 percent," Bernstein wrote Sunday for Politico Magazine. "If polls are, for some reason, still underestimating his appeal among Hispanics by a similar margin, he could be on his way to 40 — and re-election."
Democrats banking on campaigning against President Trump's immigration rhetoric will be misjudging the electorate, according to Bernstein. Hispanics lean conservative, particularly on issues such as abortion, he writes, and they will be the largest minority voting group come 2020, according to Pew Research Center.
"Pew estimates that 32 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote — a full two million more than black eligible voters, and more than 13 percent of the electorate," Bernstein wrote, citing PRC. "Hispanics figure to comprise at least 11 percent of the national vote, as they did in 2016 and 2018."
President Trump has trumpeted his rising support among Hispanics, tweeting it has risen from 19 percent to 50 percent amid the border-wall push. Democrats dismissed that data from Marist Institute for Public Polling, for NPR and PBS NewsHour, as an oversampling of Republicans, Bernstein wrote, adding a warning to not underestimate the growing conservative Hispanic electorate that stands behind orderly and legal immigration.
"Now, here's the brutal truth for Democrats: If Hispanic Americans are in fact showing surging approval of Trump, he could be on his way to matching or exceeding the 40 percent won by George W. Bush in his 2004 re-election," Bernstein wrote. "If Trump does 12 percentage points better than his 2016 numbers with the growing Hispanic vote, it pretty much takes Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina off the table for Democrats, who would then need to sweep Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to reach the necessary 270 electoral college votes."
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