by Seth Moskowitz
Friday, 4
November 2022
Analysis
15:30

The Democrats deserve to lose the Hispanic vote

Their focus on social issues over inflation has alienated ethnic minorities
by Seth Moskowitz
Credit: Getty

A monumental political realignment seems to be taking place in the United States. If the polls are to be believed, the Democratic Party is trading away long-standing support from working-class minority voters in favour of the college-educated white electorate. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is becoming increasingly diverse as it wins over voters departing the Democratic coalition. 

The most striking shift is happening among Hispanic people. In 2016, Trump won 28% of the Hispanic vote; in 2020, that number jumped up to 38%. Heading into this year’s midterms, recent polls have Republicans on track to win an astonishing 40% or more of the Hispanic vote. Such a swing could decide which party takes control of Congress, as Hispanics make up over a fifth of the voting population in more than a dozen close House races, not to mention two particularly competitive Senate elections.

Democrats are losing their grip on this key demographic for a number of reasons, including the party’s handling of crime and for going “too far in pushing a woke ideology”, as one poll put it. Most important of all, however, is the economy. When asked if they agree more with Republicans or Democrats on economic issues, Hispanic voters are about evenly split. On top of this, Hispanics say by a two-to-one ratio that economic issues are more important to their vote than social issues. The Democratic Party’s weak standing on the election’s most salient issues — inflation and the economy — has put many Hispanic voters in reach for the Republicans.

Perhaps Democrats could have stopped some of the bleeding had they campaigned on addressing inflation throughout the summer and early autumn. But that’s not what they did. Instead, the Democratic playbook was to highlight social and cultural issues — abortion most of all — and hope that voters wouldn’t think too much about the cost of groceries or gasoline. The failure of this culture-forward strategy is abundantly clear now that inflation is the overriding concern for midterm voters. 

The trouble Democrats are having in holding onto Hispanic voters may indicate a broader problem the party is facing with Americans from minority backgrounds. A recent poll shows that 21% of black voters are backing Republican candidates, compared to 12% who supported Trump in 2020. Such an erosion in black support would be fatal for Democrats in races ranging from the Georgia Senate to the Michigan Governor to House districts across the country.

For their part, Republicans have positioned themselves to capitalise on this opening with minority voters by nominating the most diverse slate of candidates in the party’s history. Sixty-seven of the GOP’s House candidates this year are Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or black. While this is still far less than the number of minority candidates nominated by the Democratic Party, it is nevertheless the result of a concerted effort by the GOP to appeal to a more diverse swathe of the electorate. 

If the polls are right and we really are experiencing a demographic realignment, this should be seen as a glimmer of hope. Understandably, the Democrats may not take it that way, since the shift will likely be costly for them this year. There are, of course, caveats: the urban/rural divide between the parties is growing, as is the education gap. And it would be naive to think that a single election will solve the country’s racial divisions. But even so, the polls showing a less racially-polarised electorate are a decidedly hopeful sign. If Americans want their country to be less divided by race, the political parties are not a bad place to start.

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago

Nothing was more hilariously ironic than Democrats proudly proclaiming that Republicans were out of touch with “Latinx” voters.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Did they say that?
If so, wow, the whole history of the Modern Left in those few words.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
27 days ago

Is anyone intending to vote Democrat? If so, why?

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
27 days ago

8 years ago I was voting straight ticket D but now will do the opposite.

Aaron James
Aaron James
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

How many Latino votes switched sides when Lia Thomas thrashed the women at swimming? The Democrats have been waging a pretty odd campaign.

Abortion and Gender ideology are almost the Entire Democrat Campaign – this was not a well thought out strategy to bring in the Minorities……

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Just so people here know, Latinx really is highly offensive, but not just because it’s a made-up word.

Part of the beauty of Spanish is that it’s gendered. Germanic languages like English lack this quality, but it’s integral to Latin based languages. That’s why “Latinx” is so offensive to actual Latinos; it’s trying to eliminate a core part of our linguistic heritage. We don’t have any problem with “Latinos” and “Latinas”. We know what each word means and when to use it.

Self-righteous gringos have forced enough onto us in the past. White progressives, just as certain of their own superiority as Cortes was of his, need to stop trying to force their linguistic rules onto us. For good reason, we tend to be hypersensitive to imperialism, even linguistic imperialism.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
28 days ago

Excellent point. I love the comparison of modern liberals to Cortes. It’s very appropriate. Modern liberals practically exude noblesse oblige when it comes to minorities. That attitude is just as demeaning coming from Harvard liberals of today as it was five hundred years ago when it came from conquistadors bringing ‘civilization’ to the ‘ignorant savages’ and from Dukes sipping wine in their manor houses watching the serfs toil in the fields. If urban minorities and rural whites ever realize their real enemies are exactly the same people, it will spell the end of the transnational aristocracy.

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve Jolly
Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
28 days ago

Most other Germanic languages have gendered nouns. I understand that Dutch, Danish and Swedish have undergone partial loss of gendered grammar, but that only English has lost it completely.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago

Correct. Gendered nouns were the standard in Old English, but were lost during the transition to Middle English. Some Scandinavian languages retain three genders, which were once common in all Germanic languages, but most now have only two, i.e., masculine and feminine.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
27 days ago

only one word in English has gender.. blond and blonde

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
27 days ago

Perhaps also naïve and naïf

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago

Thank you, Brian. That’s exactly what my friends say, too. They see this as an attack on who they are, their culture, and their heritage.
Just one point of clarification: Some Germanic languages, my mum is from Bavaria, hence I also speak German, are indeed gendered. German has three grammatical genders for all nouns: masculine, feminine and neuter, which can lead to interesting constellations: der Mann (the man – masculine), die Frau (the woman – feminine), but das Mädchen (the girl – neuter). It’s not an attack on girls and a denial of their femaleness, but has to to do with the diminutive -chen, which makes all nouns neuter. All Germanic languages once had three genders, including Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. As far as I know, only Norwegian and Icelandic have retained them, but all Scandinavian languages still feature two grammatical genders. English is really an exception rather than the rule as the gender distinction which existed in Old English fell out of use centuries ago.
So-called German progressives are also messing with the language and it’s backfiring. Rightfully so! Language is an inherent part of culture, and an important unifying characteristic. I am rooting for you and all other Latinas and Latinos!

Last edited 28 days ago by Katja Sipple
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
26 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Yeah read all about this woke Germanic in Unherd’s peer Spiked:
https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/10/30/germany-is-a-world-leader-in-wokeness/

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
26 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Actually the ‘affectionate’ ‘chen’ suffix is designed to promote age-discrimination, meaning essentially ‘little’ used as a means of lowering a person’s status (this is why lefties refer to their political opponents online as ‘odious little men’ ‘Männchen’ I suppose in German).
And that is why English is world dominant, as it merely separates people into groups with a single core identifier, with no built-in associated discrimination in terms of ‘youth’ or ‘stature’.
‘Girl’ can be used to mean ‘female child’ or ‘adult woman’ dependent on context (‘the girls in the typing pool’ etc. Cf. ‘Miss’ used alike of underage teenagers and spinsters. However the original sense of discrimination against youth and the unmarried has not survived really in English. Mores change).

Last edited 26 days ago by Arnold Grutt
Vaughn C
Vaughn C
27 days ago

Excellent point. However, it isn’t just linguistic heritage the Progressive neo-Marxist Left is after, It is family itself. The very idea of gender at all is there target. I love what Giorgia Meloni said in her speech in 2019, quoting G.K. Chesterton, “Swords will be drawn over whether 2+2 is 4. Fires will be kindled over whether leaves turn green in summer. If this is the fight, we are ready!” I have ALWAYS known that it would take the Hispanic American communty to restore sanity to the culture issies in America. I am incredibly encouraged by the strength and backbone they show.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
26 days ago

Er, the Germanic language known as ‘German’ is also ‘gendered’.

Last edited 26 days ago by Arnold Grutt
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
26 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Apparently AOC and her ilk are keeping a low profile, hoping that voters will forget they exist.
These so called progressives are so counter-productive for the Democrats that you wonder if they’re Republican (or Russian!) plants. How can they be so stupid? But I suppose that’s what hubris leads to, a complete loss of intelligent thought.

Last edited 26 days ago by Ian Stewart
Wyatt W
Wyatt W
29 days ago

I’m not sure I entirely agree with the author’s premise that it’s mostly economic issues causing the shift. That would explain a trend for the last two years, but what about the 2016-2020 change? I think the extremism of the Democratic party on social issues like gender swapping nonsense turned away many traditionally religious/family focused people.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
29 days ago
Reply to  Wyatt W

Not just them. Everyone with a brain.

Emre S
Emre S
29 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

What Democrats are suffering from is ideological stupidity, and I’ve come to be believe a working brain is no remedy for this kind of stupidity which may explain the amount of nonsense coming out of universities every year nowadays.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
28 days ago
Reply to  Emre S

Universities need to scale back on administrational staff, many of whom are employed to make students feel ‘safe’. Higher education is transitioning from a culture of learning to a culture of therapy.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Very well put, Mr Farrows.

James Stangl
James Stangl
29 days ago
Reply to  Wyatt W

Not only the Dems’ extremism on social issues, but their handling of COVID lockdowns in many cities and states, which affected schoolkids and their parents. I think that there are a LOT of mothers who are breaking from the Dem fold on that issue.

AC Harper
AC Harper
28 days ago
Reply to  Wyatt W

You could make an argument that the Elite in previous ages tended to concerned primarily about Elite airs and graces and this made them appear effete to the ordinary people who had other priorities.
So, of the two main parties in the USA does either of them appear to be primarily concerned with matters special to them alone? You could argue that the Democrats are seen as effete to the ‘commoners’ and that Trump recognised this,

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

It’s a valid premise, and I think that’s exactly what happened. Trump touched a nerve in rural and small-town America; he spoke to people that saw themselves as forgotten and ignored by a political system that revolves around itself and coastal elites. Those voters were willing to overlook the fact that Trump himself is part of the East Coast elite, because they felt addressed and heard for the first time in years. I live in Virginia, although I was born in the UK, and I remember driving through rural areas in October of 2016. Trump signs were everywhere, and the people with whom I spoke told me that they finally felt they had been heard. I knew right then and there that Trump was going to win the election.

A Willis
A Willis
29 days ago

The Democrats, like Blair’s New Labour, and even to some extent the champagne socialists of Corbyn’s Labour, have long been captive of the wealthy socialists that George Orwell warned us about.
I can’t help thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you’re one of the privileged Democrats like Clinton or Pelosi, you can afford to focus on the higher levels of the hierarchy and it must be difficult to remember how hard it is to scrape by at the lower levels. No wonder they lose touch with the people they claim to represent, invariably believing they know best what is better of the voters they think they own.
.

Aaron James
Aaron James
29 days ago
Reply to  A Willis

”No wonder they lose touch with the people they claim to represent, invariably believing they know best what is better of the voters they think they own.”

Come on – the people they ‘represent’ are their prey, they do not care about what is better for them – just how to get more out of them.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago
Reply to  Aaron James

I think you are both right. I don’t see a contradiction between the elitist representatives pretending they know what’s best for the plebes, and your statement that they really don’t care about the other side’s well-being. I think of them as feudal lords who technically had an obligation to look after their villagers and farmers, but in reality often simply thought of ways to exploit them and get more out of them for themselves, as you aptly put it.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
27 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

plebs.. get your spelling right!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
26 days ago

You say pleb and I say plebian, but she says plebes
Lets call the whole thing off!

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
28 days ago

Hispanics tend to be socially conservative, and their cultures value traditional femininity and masculinity. As an Englishwoman who lives in the United States, I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who hail from different countries and cultures, including Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Puerto Rico, but they are united in their opposition to what they describe as an attack on cohesive families and their values. Not one of them would ever refer to her-/himself as LatinX, a term the Democrats coined to bring gender ideology to this group.
On Tuesday, the United States will be holding its mid-term elections, and as far as I know, none of those friends, many of whom have US citizenship, will be voting for a Democrat. I have bought a bottle of good champagne to celebrate the Democratic defeat on Tuesday evening just as I did in November of 2021 when suburban housewives helped Glenn Youngkin (R) win the gubernatorial election in Virginia. His campaign profited tremendously from the fact that the Democratic agenda consisted almost entirely of social issues, especially gender ideology and Critical Race Theory, which had infiltrated the education system at every level. A high-profile sexual abuse case in Loudoun County and the resulting cover-up by the Loudoun County School Board, which led to a second sexual assault in another school by the same perpetrator, had concerned parents rallying around Youngkin and propelled him to victory. I predict that the same thing will happen on Tuesday, and it will once again be time to have a glass of bubbly. Cheers!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
26 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

A well remembered reference case which infuriated me too!

Last edited 26 days ago by Ian Stewart
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
29 days ago

If Republicans continue to divide the minority votes, and that’s a really really big IF, it will be a major crisis for Democrats. The minority vote is something that they absolutely need to keep remain competitive, regardless of how bad that is for the country long term. They’ve essentially abandoned rural America, letting Republicans run up margins to 20 or 30 points, sometimes more. Rural America has become the Republican answer to the Democratic capture of the minority vote, and America’s system favors geography over population. They aren’t likely to lose that advantage anytime soon because Democratic economic and environmental policies are anathema to the ranching/farming/logging/mining and other resource extraction activities that make up the livelihoods of rural voters. Again, big IF, if those numbers the author mentioned come true, it’s likely to set off full blown panic among the Dems and the biggest change in rhetoric and tactics of the party since Bill Clinton.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
29 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Don’t forget cultural issues. Give up your guns, let your kids transition, tax churches, ignore the weaponization of institutions against you, open the border, and show how penitent you are for your supposed “white privilege” in struggle sessions are not exactly winning platforms in rural America. If anyone in rural America points out they get to vote for their values and it is the job of candidates to make themselves appealing to them, they just get called “ists” and “phobes”. This happens while they are also being told that they have no idea what is best for themselves. Then the same people who just insulted them, tell them that the only way they will not be forever considered horrible people is to just give up who they are and vote for the people who just insulted them. It is a real winning strategy.

Last edited 29 days ago by Matt Hindman
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
28 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

You’re right, I didn’t get into that. I almost mentioned how minorities are almost always more socially conservative than progressive democrats and that they’re voting for Democrats for reasons of self preservation. Racial minorities, especially blacks, do have a justifiable fear of racism, which one party shamelessly exploits and the other tends to ignore. I was trying to be concise, and those issues have never been as important as basic needs, food, water, jobs, energy, etc. As the author points out, the Republican strategy this year to hammer away on the economy has been a very successful strategy.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
27 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

the words ” cultural” and ” American” go together like ” Sahara” and ” iceberg”…

A Willis
A Willis
29 days ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

An interesting point. I recall being quite astounded when, on someone’s suggestion, I looked up the ‘Clinton Archipelago’.