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Conservative leaning Democratic Latinos now voting Republican, poll shows

In NBC’s latest poll with Telemundo, that flipped dramatically – only 17% of conservative Latinos now say they prefer Democratic control of Congress

October 6, 2022 3:54pm

Updated: October 7, 2022 9:15am

A new poll found that conservative Hispanics, who used to lean Democrat, are now reliable Republican votes – confirming a trend that began at least before the 2020 presidential election.

In a 2012 poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, 49% of self-described conservative Latinos said they preferred Democratic control of Congress, compared to 40% who wanted Republicans in charge – a 9-point gap.

But in NBC’s latest poll with Telemundo, that flipped dramatically – only 17% of conservative Latinos now say they prefer Democratic control of Congress.

73% of conservative Latinos now prefer Republicans in charge – a massive 56-point edge and a net 65-point swing in just a decade.

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Other Hispanics demographics have also shifted from 2012 to 2022. Latinos who identify as liberal have congregated behind the Democratic party with 87% preferring they control Congress – a 9-point increase from 2012.

Hispanic moderates’ preference for Democratic control of Congress slipped 14 points over the past decade, 69% to 55%. In good news for Democrats, the number that prefer the GOP in charge has barely moved, from 20% in 2012 to 23% now.

Progressive pollster David Shor warned of this trend in a post-mortem of the 2020 election when he noted that then-President Donald Trump had a more racially diverse voting base than Mitt Romney in 2012, who ran as a welcoming “Big Tent” Republican.

“When you look at self-reported ideology – just asking people, “Do you identify as liberal, moderate, or conservative” – you find that there aren’t very big racial divides. Roughly the same proportion of African American, Hispanic, and white voters identify as conservative,” he explained to New York magazine in Mar. 2021.

He continued, “But white voters are polarized on ideology, while nonwhite voters haven’t been. Something like 80 percent of white conservatives vote for Republicans. But historically, Democrats have won nonwhite conservatives, often by very large margins. What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.”

When asked why he believed this was the case, Shor said that the Democratic agenda has drifted toward ideologies that do not resonate with minority conservatives, who have different conceptions of what helps their communities.

Polls through the year have indicated that the GOP has cut into Biden’s lead with Hispanics, especially on issues like the economy and border security.