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Latinos to Washington: "It's the economy stupid!"

Polls show that Hispanic Americans consider supply chain issues and inflation as central to their voting priorities this midterm election season.

November 3, 2022 9:13am

Updated: November 3, 2022 9:13am

Concerns about the economy are contributing to the mass exodus of Hispanic Americans leaving the Democratic Party, creating concerns about the upcoming midterm elections.

A new Axios-Ipsos poll says that 37% of likely Latino voters are worried about supply chain issues and inflation while 31% of respondents polled by Washington Post-Ipsos cited rising prices as their top issue of concern.

Another poll, conducted by WPA Intelligence and Visto Media for the Texas based, pro-liberty Bienvenido organization says Latino voters currently have a dim outlook of the economy. In that poll, 74% of those surveyed said the economy was either poor or fair with only 26% saying it is good or excellent.

A Pew Research Center poll also confirmed the Latino community’s concern with the economy reporting that, 80% of all Hispanic registered voters framed the economy as very important when casting their midterm election vote, and that 90% of Latino Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters said the economy is very important to their vote. Seventy five percent of Latino Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters also conceded that the economy is very important to how they will vote in the 2022 midterms.

The numbers speak volumes about the mindset of Hispanic Americans who appear to be sending a clear message to Washington that, “it’s the economy stupid!”

The apparent Hispanic American red wave is also dampening long held Democratic hopes they could turn once red states that have become purple such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas true blue.

For many years, Democrats have hoped that Latino voters could be the key to turning traditionally “red” states to “purple,” says USA Today writer Rebecca Morin. “Now, it’s unclear whether that will be the case.

New polls ahead of the midterm elections show Latino support for Democrats is waning – although the majority of that voting bloc still supports the party. Republicans are also making some inroads with Latino voters in states like Texas and Nevada, where Democrats are locked in tight congressional and statewide elections.”

Hispanic American voters helped Democrats turn a once blazing red Arizona blue with the elections of Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, as well as President Joe Biden, a shock to Republicans who traditionally carried the state for decades.

The same could be said for Nevada, which six years ago elected the Senate’s First Latina, Catherine Cortez Masto.

But both Kelly and Cortez Masto are now facing strong challenges from Republican candidates Blake Masters and Adam Laxalt, respectively, and all eyes are watching to see how Hispanics vote in both states.

Other Latino dominated areas such as Miami-Dade County in Florida, where Biden lost 20 points in 2020 from Hillary Clinton’s 27 point lead in 2016 are also seeing a continued shift to the right. A recent Telemundo/LX News poll have Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seven points ahead of his Democratic challenger, Rep. Charlie Crist by 51% to 44%.

“Based on the most recent polling, it looks as though Democrats are not going to capture the same kind of hefty vote share of Latinos that they've been used to in the last few presidential election cycles,” University of New Mexico political science professor Gabriel Sanchez told USA Today.

Sanchez, who also works with Latino Decisions, a survey outfit that focuses on Hispanic American trends said that it’s a mistake for Democrats to think that this year will resemble previous years during the Trump presidency when some Latinos were still railing over his lingering 2016 comments about the border.

“2018 isn't the fairest comparison,” Sanchez told USA Today. “There's not a Trump in the air still.”

Trump also managed to turn that tide during his presidency by winning the hearts of Latinos nationwide in his firm campaign against leftism when he vowed in 2019 that “America will never be a socialist country”

That promise became a banner of hope within the Latino community for refugees and exiles who escaped from Marxist dictatorships such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, mobilizing Hispanic Americans further toward the Republican Party.

On Oct. 15, ADN America reported that even Democratic strategists were conceding that Hispanics were drifting right because of their opposition to socialism.

"They don't like the socialists," Hank Sheinkopf, veteran Democratic political consultant and president of Sheinkopf Communications, told Fox News about Latinos.

"They don't like the abortion argument being thrust at them on a constant basis. They don’t like the crime. They don’t like the chaos. And they’re responding."

One October poll conducted by NBC News, Telemundo and the Wall Street Journal said 73% of Latinos who described themselves as conservative now prefer a Republican Congress – a 56-point shift away from Democrats in 10 years.

Another Democratic strategist who said that the poll results were likely an outlier also acknowledged that Democrats need to focus on the economy when reaching out to Hispanic communities, highlighting how Republicans have made significant gains with Hispanic voters.

"I think that there's been a lot of movement by the Hispanic community away from being single-issue voters,” Jennifer Holdworth told Fox News. “It's not just about immigration. They’re a community of faith. There's a lot of small businesses. It's health care and housing prices…"

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.