October 17, 2021

Hispanics on a GOP Senate: Sure, why not?

latinos for udahlRuben Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona holds a Latinos for Udall sign at a canvass kickoff campaign event on October 25, 2014 in Thornton, Colorado. Udall is seeking reelection as one of Colorado’s two senators and faces Republican challenger Cory Gardner in a tight race for the seat. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

This number jumped out at me from the new Washington Post/ABC News poll: It showed that, among Latinos, 50 percent say it doesn’t matter who wins the Senate come November. And among those who do think it will matter, twice as many say it would be a good thing (30 percent) if the GOP took over as say it would be a bad thing (15 percent).

This is a demographic, we will remind you, that voted 71-27 for President Obama just two years ago. And only 15 percent are concerned about a GOP-controlled Senate.

While there is a fairly big margin of error (plus/minus 10 points) in this sub-sample, those are still striking numbers — and they comport nicely with the idea of Hispanics’ declining faith in the Democratic Party. And if you can’t get voters to believe something will change, it’s hard to make a convincing case to get them to vote.

President Obama, for instance, has said that with a Democratic-controlled Senate, there would be “at least one branch in Congress that is presenting these ideas, making arguments” on such things as minimum wage and equal pay. Sounds like a debating society.



This snapshot poll shows Latinos holding views more similar to political independents then self-identified Democrats. Among Democrats, 50 percent say a GOP Senate would be a bad thing. Even that seems kind of muted — but not nearly as muted as among Hispanics.

On the economy, Latinos are much more likely to be down on the state of the country — again, sounding much more like independents than Democrats. Three quarters of Latinos have a negative view on the economy, which (in the abstract, at least) is often voters’ top priority. Democrats have a better outlook, with 43 percent viewing the economy positively.

Of course, for the 2014 election, this probably doesn’t matter much.

We’ve noted before that only in a handful of states is there a big enough population of Latinos to sway the outcome, which is why immigration reform has been put on the back-burner.

And beyond 2014, Democrats are still in better shape than Republicans when it comes to the Hispanic vote, as the below chart shows. Keep this in mind as angling for 2016 begins, with President Obama’s promised executive action up first.