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Remember all those those charges that former President Donald Trump made clear from the very beginning of his 2016 presidential campaign that he was an anti-Latino bigot, and the predictions that any political success he enjoyed would doom Republican chances of winning support from this increasingly important group of voters?

Apparently, many Latino voters themselves don’t. Or they’ve concluded that Trump and now dominant Republican views on sensible controls on immigration matter less to them than views on other issues. Or that they actually like Trump and the Republicans on some combination of these subjects – including immigration. Or that maybe the Republican positions aren’t terrific, but that what the Democrats have stood for lately is a non-starter.

That’s the message being sent lately by several recent polls on Latino political views that could decisively shape American politics for the foreseeable future.

First, though, some context. There’s little doubt now that four years of Trump-ism wound up boosting the former President’s support among Latinos, now further shrinking it. In 2016, Trump won 28 percent of their presidential vote. In 2020, this figure had grown to 32 percent according to the eixt polls. (This subsequent study pegs his 2020 total at 38 percent.)  And of course, in some key states, the exit polls showed, his 2020 performance was far better – notably Florida (46 percent) and Texas (41 percent). So the racism and xenophobia charges were showing signs of flopping while throughout Trump’s term in office.

Even so, the results of a Wall Street Journal survey conducted in the second half of November came as a major shock. They showed that if Trump was running for the White House against President Biden today, he’d lose by only 44 percent to 43 percent among Latino voters. And they said they’d be even split at 37 percent in their votes for Democratic and Republican Congressional candidates.

As noted in this analysis, the poll’s sample size was very small, so serious doubts in its accuracy are justified. But similar results have been reported elsewhere. Yesterday, notably, National Public Radio and Marist College released a survey showing that just 33 percent of Latino adults approved of President Biden’s performance in office, versus 65 percent who disapproved. These Biden Latino numbers were worse than his ratings from American adults as a whole (41 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving).

Moreover, only 11 percent of Latino adults “strongly approved” of Mr. Biden’s presidency so far, versus 17 percent of U.S. adults overall, and when it came to strong disapproval, 52 percent of Latinos marked that column compared with 44 percent of the total national adult population.

Nor does the evidence stop there that the longer Mr. Biden has been in office, the less Latinos like his perfomance. As this Washington Post column reminds, “In late May, Biden’s job approval among Hispanics averaged 60 percent, with a net approval margin of 32, a bit larger than his vote margin the prior year.”

Biden backers and Democrats can point to a new Axios-Ipsos survey reporting that “The Democratic Party enjoyed huge advantages over the Republican Party when Latino respondents were asked which party represents or cares about …..” But after that ellipsis comes the finding that “those advantages evaporated when it came to the economy and crime.”

Democrats own a clear edge among Latinos on one major issue, though: the CCP Virus pandemic. According to the Axios-Ipsos results “respondents were much more likely to say Democrats were doing a good job of handling COVID-19 as a health challenge — 37% to 11% for Republicans, with another 17% saying both are doing a good job.” 

But Axios-Ipsos has been a major outlier lately, as made clear in this analysis that looks not only at this year’s polls but the Virginia gubernatorial election, which saw victorious Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin actually win the state’s Latino vote.  The conventional wisdom seems to hold that Youngkin prevailed in large measure because he held Trump at arm’s length. But in light of all the other survey results, maybe that’s wishful Mainstream Media thinking?      

It’s still a long way even to the 2022 Congressional elections, much less the 2024 presidential race. But unless the President and his party can turn their sagging fortunes around, it looks like they’re rapidly running out of time with Latinos – who are increasingly flocking to a Republican Party still strongly influenced by Donald Trump.