Pocketbook issues likely nudged many Latino citizens to vote for Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate on election day.
But the two main polling groups offer radically different estimates — 55 percent versus 31 percent — for Latino support of GOP winner Glenn Youngkin.
The pocketbook influence is shown in anecdotal reports:
Based Dominicans will help save America https://t.co/ggTfpFtzmd
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) November 3, 2021
The Washington Post reported Youngkin’s economy and education pitches on October 23:
Inside a small Peruvian restaurant in Manassas, a standing-room-only crowd of Latino voters waited for what might have been unthinkable in Virginia four years ago: a Republican candidate for governor seriously angling for their support.
When Glenn Youngkin showed up, he was greeted with cheers before promising the largely Spanish-speaking crowd that he’d lower taxes, improve schools, create jobs and reduce crime in the state — bread-and-butter issues that are part of the Republican’s strategy to peel away a portion of Virginia’s growing Latino electorate that has long favored Democrats.
In the Virginia election, Youngkin focused on jobs, crime, and — most importantly — the progressives’ damage to local schools. That broad strategy was intended to help win a broad swathe of voters, including Latino, black, Asian, and white voters.
Governors have little influence on federal immigration policy, so there was little pressure on Youngkin to take a stand on the border crash or on immigration’s damage to Americans’ wages and housing costs.
In 2017, the GOP candidate, Ed Gillespie, used immigration to spur the turnout of the GOP base, but he focussed on claims about rising crime from illegal migrants. His establishment-style, don’t-mention-the-money pitch was a two-sided failure: he ignored the voters worried about the costs of migration and he alienated some voters who sympathize with migrants.
Many polls show that Americans want to be sympathetic to migrants but also strongly prefer that companies hire Americans before importing more migrants.
Conflicting public polls have left the public with little idea about Latino support for Youngkin.
The October 27-November 3 poll used by Fox News showed Youngkin winning a record 55 percent of the Latino vote, which comprised a small but useful five percent of the state-wide electorate. Forty-four percent of Latino voters picked McAuliffe, according to the survey of 2,634 people selected by a polling center at the University of Chicago.
The huge Latino share was touted by the Republican National Committee (RNC): “Republicans outperformed in virtually every race in every state in every demographic across the country … Fox News Voter Analysis shows that Youngkin won Hispanics and Latinos by a 55%-44%.”
The Fox News poll was co-managed by the Associated Press, which reported that “Youngkin also appeared to make inroads with Latino voters, who were closely divided between McAuliffe and him.”
The “inroads” comment suggests that the AP analysts doubt the 55 percent to 44 percent numbers reported by their own poll.
The Wall Street Journal also downplayed the Latino estimate, saying, “The survey also suggests that Latino voters favored Mr. Youngkin over Mr. McAuliffe, though the sample size of the group was much smaller than for white and Black voters.”
In contrast, CNN’s exit poll of 3,899 respondents reported that only 31 percent of Latino voters picked Youngkin, a seven-point drop from former President Donald Trump’s exit poll score in 2020.
CNN’s 2020 exit poll estimated Trump got 36 percent of the 2020 Latino vote, compared to its 2021 estimate of 31 percent for Youngkin.
The same 2021 CNN poll showed the GOP’s candidate for Lt. Governor, Winsome Sears — a black immigrant from Jamaica — getting just 33 percent of the Latino vote to Democratic Hala Ayala’s 66 percent. The GOP’s U.S.-born Latino candidate for attorney general, Jason Miyares, also got just 32 percent of the Latino vote, according to the CNN poll.
CNN explained its poll:
Exit polls are surveys of a random sample of voters taken as they leave their polling place on Election Day. Absentee and early voters are represented by either telephone polls or in-person exit polls at early voting locations. Pollsters use the results to assess the makeup and opinions of the electorate.
The true number is likely somewhere in the middle, between CNN’s 31 percent and Fox’s 55 percent.
The GOP’s populist-themed message is gaining ground among Latinos nationwide, as President Joe Biden’s progressive deputies welcome a flood of lower-wage, rent-spiking, non-English-speaking migrants into Americans’ damaged economy and crowded schools.
In Texas, for example, a Republican candidate won a safe Latino majority, Democratic-held state seat on November 2.
In New Jersey’s November 2 elections, the GOP gained ground in districts with many Latino voters.
So the shifts in New Jersey should be much more concerning to Democrats than the more-or-less uniform swing we saw in Virginia. Here’s Passaic County, with precincts aggregated by town/township. Biggest swings from 2017 are in heavily Hispanic areas. 1/ pic.twitter.com/aRFDVZn5zr
— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) November 3, 2021
The New Jersey results suggest that “Trump’s ’20 gains among Hispanic [voters] are potentially sticking. [Vote] swings from 2020 are in working class townships, suggesting continued movement for voters there,” said polling expert Sean Trende. “If there’s a silver lining for Ds, it’s that the wealthier townships in the northwest didn’t move as much.”
GOP leaders such as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “don’t want to talk about the immigration in the context of [pocketbook] issues,” said Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. He continued:
Focusing just on illegality in the border doesn’t alienate donors as much, but probably does make the message less appealing to Hispanics. If you add the border issues to the [pocketbook] problems that American workers face, you’re going to create some tension with donors but make the message more palatable to Hispanic voters.
Trump showed that you could be hawkish on immigration and still win over a significant Hispanic support. So if anything, adding a pro-worker aspects to the immigration message rather than focusing just on illegality is likely to be more appealing to Hispanic voters than Trump’s message which was focused mainly on enforcement.
His enforcement focus didn’t turn Hispanics away and may have attracted extra Hispanic votes. So by making the immigration message broader and moving away from a sole, an exclusive focus on arresting law breakers, and talking about kitchen table issues as well, seems to me to make the message more appealing.
Many polls show that labor migration is deeply unpopular because it damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, and raises their rents. Migration also curbs Americans’ productivity, shrinks their political clout, widens regional wealth gaps, and wrecks their democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture.
For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This opposition is multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.
Meanwhile, progressives insist that the Republican gains are due to racist white voters.
For those GOP trying to dunk on this tweet, let me repeat: whiteness wins again. They won’t get it.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) November 3, 2021