For a long time, it was considered a given that nearly all Hispanics would put their support behind Democrats. But in the midterm elections, a growing number of Hispanic-American voters backed Republican candidates. Experts say a big shift is under way. Americano Media conducted a recent poll on the subject. Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo is founder and CEO of the group.
Sharyl: If you could pick just one or two of the biggest takeaways, what would you say those are?
Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo: I would say Donald Trump moved the Hispanic vote by almost 20%. From Obama's 71% to Joe Biden right now ranking at 54. I think that's historic, that's massive, that is an incredible accomplishment. Hispanics really understand, you know, how bad big government is, how bad socialism is. We’ve seen it all over Latin America for decades and destroy every single booming economy like it's doing right now. All over Latin America it's collapsed, to the left, to Marxists, to openly Communist people.
Democrats can still count on getting most of the Hispanic vote. But the news is how much the margin has narrowed. From the 2018 Congressional midterms to 2022, Democrats went from a 40-point advantage over Republicans to just 14 points.
In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden led Donald Trump among Hispanics 65% to 33%. But in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, Biden's margin is half of his 2020 margin over Trump.
Sharyl: If I understand correctly, a majority of Hispanic voters still vote Democrat or support Democrats, but the big news is how many more of them have gone to the Republican side than previously.
Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo: That's correct. And also — so the biggest loser here in this poll is the Democratic Party. Hispanics have moved away from Democrats, some have gone Republican, but 29% identify as independent. And that's, that's a big number, that's really where your swing voter is. And right now, when you look at that independent group, that 29%, they say, according to the poll, that they're going to vote for the issues that benefit the Republican Party, so you're going to see this big shift.
Sharyl: Did your poll show that Hispanic voters are very much concerned about similar things as non-Hispanic voters, or do they set themselves apart in their interests and the issues that matter the most?
Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo: They're exactly like every regular American. They're interested in jobs, the economy, security, and education. Crime, all these things. Immigration is really now ranked in the top five, even. So, Democrats like to create and grab wedge issues and try and divide people, and that's what they've been doing with Hispanics. You hear Spanish language television today, and there's absolutely no control. They sit there and they scream and yell, "Trump is a rapist. He's a criminal. He's a killer." And you're like, "Where did they come up with this stuff?" There's no evidence to even say that. But they get away with it and say it every day.
Sharyl: What other data points were really stand-outs in the poll that you did?
Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo: One of them: 71% of Hispanics agree the country's going in the wrong direction. That is, you know, nobody can deny that. I think Hispanics really get that. I don't know where the other 29% are getting information, but who knows? You know, it must be Univision, Telemundo, or CNN, you know, to get that.
Sharyl: Looking ahead at the 2024 election, what do you foresee in terms of Hispanic vote influence?
Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo: I think it's going to be huge. All Hispanics that have left all of Latin America because of these policies, because they've destroyed their families, their businesses, their countries, come here and see the same rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party. And they're going to say, "No way. Never again. We've lost our country; we're not going to lose this one. There is nowhere else to go. There is nowhere else to go. If the United States collapses, is destroyed by the Left, where are we going to go? There's nowhere else to go." So Hispanics are going to play a very, very important role in the future of the United States of America.
Sharyl (on-camera): Analysts say the Hispanic vote was key in midterm races in Florida, Illinois, California, and Nevada.