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Hispanic voters deserting Biden in major warning sign for Democrats

Amid border crisis, Hispanic support for president plummets as key voting demographic shifts to GOP.

Published: April 14, 2022 5:10pm

Updated: April 17, 2022 7:52am

President Biden's approval rating among Hispanics has plummeted as the historically Democratic bloc's support for Republicans continues to increase, presenting an electoral problem for Democrats, whose immigration policies have fueled much of this shift.

Only 26% of Hispanic voters approve of Biden's job performance, compared to 54% who disapprove, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Perhaps most striking, the poll found a staggering 41% of Hispanic voters "strongly disapprove" of Biden's handling of the presidency, while just 12% "strongly approve."

Hispanics represent the country's second largest voting bloc by ethnicity.

A downward trend in Hispanic support for Biden has been ongoing for months.

Biden comfortably won the Hispanic vote in 2020 with 59%, according to the Pew Research Center. Since then, however, Hispanic support for the president has plummeted, reaching the 30s last year and now the 20s. Even polling finding a higher approval rating for Biden among Hispanics today still shows a 20-plus-point drop over the past year.

Hispanics aren't just disapproving of Biden, though. They're also moving away from Democrats in general.

The National Republican Congressional Committee's Battleground Survey Project, for example, found that Republicans have made substantial gains among Hispanic voters since the 2020 elections, narrowing the gap by almost 20 percentage points.

Other polling has shown Hispanics evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, a seismic shift from what was once a lopsided balance in favor of Democrats.

Even polling finding a less dramatic shift still shows Hispanics are now migrating across party lines to the GOP.

One sign of this shift manifesting in electoral politics was last year's Virginia gubernatorial race. Glenn Youngkin, the Republican victor, won the Hispanic vote by about a dozen points, once an unthinkable margin.

The White House and the Democrat-led Congressional Hispanic Caucus didn't respond to requests for comment on why this Hispanic shift toward the GOP is happening and how they plan to address it.

Biden's immigration policies appear to be one reason for the Hispanic migration away from the Democratic Party. Over the past year, polling has consistently shown a strong majority of Americans — and upwards of 70% of Hispanics — disapprove of Biden's handling of immigration, including of the southern border.

The number of people crossing the southern border illegally has skyrocketed since Biden entered office, reaching nearly 2.3 million illegal border crossings from February of last year to this past February, the last month for which there's publicly available data. By comparison, there were just over 626,000 such crossings from January 2020 to January 2021, former President Trump's last year in office.

Critics argue Biden's rhetoric and policies have lured illegal immigrants to cross the U.S. at a historically high rate. Some of these critics told Just the News that Democrats think their words and actions on immigration will increase their support among Hispanics when in reality the opposite has occurred.

"The Biden administration's tone-deaf pandering has completely backfired," said Anna Paulina Luna, a Hispanic-American of Mexican descent who's running for Congress in Florida's 13th District. "Hispanics on border towns are especially frustrated with the irresponsible messaging of the current administration regarding illegal immigration and open borders."

The mayor of one such town near the border, Uvalde, Texas, said he believes the situation at the border will cause many Democrats to vote for Republicans in November.

"I think you're going see a lot of people that would normally go Democrat ... vote red," Mayor Don McLaughlin told the "Just the News, Not Noise" television program, noting Democrats don't want to discuss the border at all.

One day earlier, Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Ariz., which is located near the southern border, told the same television program that Hispanic immigrants who come to the U.S. are more frustrated with "open-border" policies than anyone and may support conservative candidates as a result.

"They are frustrated, too," said Lamb. "The majority of people that come here to make a better life, who love freedom, who want the American way of life, those people believe in family values, they believe in conservative ideals ... And I think you're going see a shift of a lot of people, especially amongst the Latin communities, that will vote to defend the family, to defend freedom, to defend this country they've come to love and appreciate."

Currently, one major issue of contention is Biden's decision to end Title 42, an authority exercised by the Trump administration to prevent certain categories of asylum seekers arriving at the border from entering the country and spreading COVID-19.

"By ending Title 42, President Biden welcomes an influx of migrants to the U.S. that our system is not prepared to handle," Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) told Just the News this week. "He has no plan to solve the issue at our southern border, and it's hitting my community — the Hispanic American community — the hardest."

"We Latinos don't want open borders," she added. "We want safety for our families, order at the border, and a growing economy."

Beyond immigration policy, Hispanics are unhappy with Biden because of his policies toward Cuba and Venezuela, according to Luna.

"The Biden administration reaching out to [Venezuelan leader Nicolas] Maduro for oil was a slap in the face to every Venezuelan that fled the country," she said, also noting the administration's "resistance to accepting legitimate political refugees fleeing communism in Cuba."

Last month, U.S. officials went to Venezuela to open a dialogue with Maduro about easing sanctions so the country can sell its oil on the international market to combat rising prices amid Russia's war in Ukraine.

Back in July, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas warned that people fleeing Cuba by boat won't be allowed to enter the U.S.

Mayorkas, himself a Cuban immigrant, added that his warning applied to those who demonstrated fear of persecution and that Cubans caught attempting to flee their home country would be returned to Cuba by the Coast Guard.

Such actions combined with Biden's immigration policy, said Luna, will help fuel enthusiasm among the Hispanic community to vote in November — but not for Democrats.

"Get ready for the red wave this election cycle," she told Just the News. "Hispanics are going to show up to the ballot box in force."

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