Here we are talking about Republicans Face Challenges in the Southwest as Latino Voters Continue to Support Democrats. There is a tonne of evidence to suggest that Republicans have been more popular among Latinos over time in many states, including Florida. An inverse trend, however, has emerged in the Southwest and may have effects through 2024 and beyond. Latinos have remained loyal to Democrats in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, which has fueled the party’s advances throughout a region where Latino population growth has surged.
It contradicts the widely held belief that Democrats were uniformly handing over Latino votes to the Republican Party in the run-up to the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Instead, signs point to the GOP being in danger of losing Latino voters in this area, which might result in the party being permanently excluded from the Southwest.
Deep-red territory formerly covered the Southwest. Republicans, though, are having trouble regaining control. According to Simon Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist who was a member of the early team that helped establish contemporary tactics for appealing to Latino voters, it’s in part because they’ve alienated Latinos by embracing more tough policies, notably on immigration. According to Rosenberg, the Southwest is very different today from what it was under former President George W. Bush.
Rosenberg stated, “This was formerly unfriendly territory for us. “In the Southwest, the Republican party’s standing has substantially decreased during the past 20 years. And there’s no disputing that. Consider the formerly consistently red Arizona. Before 2018, Republicans held both U.S. Senate seats and every statewide office. According to Mike Noble, an independent pollster who has conducted a considerable study in the Southwest region, Democrats have now won both Senate seats and the governor’s office, which hasn’t happened in more than 70 years.
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If they don’t position themselves better among Hispanics and Latinos, the GOP “may conceivably lose the Southwest for decades to come,” Noble said. Republicans are at a turning point where they must choose their course of action. Are they following the MAGA path? Or are they adopting the classic Goldwater, conventionally conservative, business-minded strategy that resulted in their success? Noble cited longstanding Arizona Republicans Barry Goldwater and John McCain as having a winning recipe that is missing from Republicans running for office now. Both Goldwater and McCain supported immigration reform while taking a moderate approach.
Exit poll analysis, exit poll analysis, campaign officials’ interviews, data analysts’ interviews, and strategists’ interviews all point to a hardening phenomenon in the US: The complexity of Latino voters varies greatly from region to region and, in some circumstances, state to state. One key lesson for 2024 is that the Latino vote has levels of nuance that are challenging to capture in national polling, even though the Nov. 8 election data has not yet been completed and the Latino electorate’s allegiance remains the topic of ongoing debate.
According to a study by Equis Research that examines Latino voting trends, Democrats have strong support in states like Nevada and Arizona. Additionally, according to their data, Democratic Sen.-elect John Fetterman performed better with Latinos in Philadelphia than Joe Biden did in the 2020 election. It was a different situation in Florida. According to an exit poll conducted by NBC News, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was re-elected with a comfortable majority of the Latino vote, including 68% of Cuban Americans.
According to Mark Hugo Lopez, director of race and ethnicity at the Pew Research Center, “an overall tale that emerged from this election is that the voters had varied experiences depending on where you were in the country.” Lopez was speaking specifically about Latinos. “The national stats obscure numerous local stories regarding Latino voters here.”
Hugo Lopez emphasized the distinctive traits of Latinos in various regions of the nation. Greater numbers of Cubans who fled communism reside in Florida and lean more to the right politically. Republicans have been concentrating on and engaging with the population there for decades, especially about foreign policy problems, he claimed. There are sizable numbers of second, third, or more-generation families with Mexican ancestry in places like Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
Lopez continued, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program of President Barack Obama’s administration, which shields young undocumented people brought here by their parents from deportation. “That may be shaping some of how Hispanic voters, particularly those who may be the children of immigrants, are engaging with politics, whether because of the issues of policies around undocumented immigrants and also issues like DACA,” Lopez said.
According to Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat who serves as the chairman of the BOLD PAC, the political action committee of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Democratic victory in Arizona occurred despite concerns that Latino support had decreased and that this would help Republicans across the state. He asserted that “something like that only occurs when you have substantial Latino backing.” GOP pollster Chuck Coughlin in Arizona blamed the overwhelming presence of MAGA Republicans on the ballot, claiming that losers like Kari Lake ran on exclusionary principles that Latino voters rejected.
“I haven’t seen a MAGA candidate win with that constituency since ’16. It simply doesn’t occur, Coughlin claimed. It’s to let you know that you’re not welcome here. In literal terms, that would be like Kari Lake ejecting the McCain Republicans from the room. Well, her wish came true. Republicans “are going to continue to lose without a course change,” he warned. Latino Democrats won almost all of the statewide races in New Mexico, the state with the highest percentage of citizens who identify as Hispanic or Latino in the nation.
The party defeated a Republican challenger in the 3rd Congressional District and won the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which has a majority of Latino residents and runs along the border with Mexico. Latinos in Colorado contributed to the idea that the state is no longer a swing state but is instead becoming blue. Democrats managed to win the governor’s race and a Senate seat by significant margins. Currently, the party controls two-thirds of the state Legislature’s seats.
Despite frequently predicting that they would bridge the gap with Latino voters, Republicans in Nevada instead watched as Latinos supported a Latina, Catherine Cortez Masto, in her bid for reelection, which tipped the U.S. Senate in favor of Democrats. Cisco Aguilar, a new Democratic secretary of state, is Nevada’s first Latino to hold the position. Republican Joe Lombardo was elected governor of the state, a win that was largely spurred by intense resentment for Democratic predecessor Steve Sisolak’s decision to declare the state quarantined during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Without a doubt, they played a significant part in my reelection. A third of Nevada’s population is Latino, according to Cortez Masto. “From what I’ve observed, our community wants to know that you are on their side. They seek constant interaction. You can’t just turn up when it’s convenient for you. They want to know that you are there, that you are aware of the problems, and that you are willing to speak up for them.
Cortez Masto’s campaign strategy included an early start with media advertising in Spanish, with the first ad appearing in March. A conservative organization later in the race announced a $2 million investment in Spanish-language advertising to promote Laxalt. Although Nevada Republicans have cited their efforts in building community centers as part of their success formula, there is evidence that Republican involvement with Latinos there is not as strong as it is in Texas and Florida.
When questioned, several members of the Nevada Republican Party, which is governed by the national party, praised their neighborhood community center in Las Vegas but were unable to specify where it was. Spot visits were unsuccessful five times at various times of the day because the one-room, storefront office’s door was shut.
Apart from a staff member sitting at a table with a puppy that strayed over and had an accident on the floor, the area was mostly empty when NBC News finally located it open and strolled in. A visitor looked to have shocked the staff member, who then told the reporter to address her questions elsewhere. Another employee there provided a contact number for a representative who did not respond to a request for comment. However, the location has hosted election-related events, including one for Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, who ultimately lost.
Before the election, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told NBC News, “I think the engagement that we’re seeing with Hispanic and Asian voters in Clark County is going to be a difference maker.” Laxalt was ultimately defeated by Cortez Masto by about 8,000 votes. NBC News exit polls revealed that Cortez Masto won more than 60% of the Latino vote, even with some of them choosing to remain home.
However, there are several red flags for Democrats when it comes to Latino voters, especially among men. Dan Sena claimed that if there is erosion inside the Democratic Party, it is among Latino men. Sena Kozar Strategies has been involved in Spanish and English-language advertisements as well as a strategy for campaigns throughout the Southwest.
The good news is that they were easily persuaded during the campaigns, at least in New Mexico. Sena added, “We were able to assist in winning them back in somewhat stronger numbers. But he anticipated that the conflict would arise every election year. “Our problem is that you can’t treat them like they’re simple-minded voters. Hispanic men are no longer base voters. They are truly persuadable voters.”
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