Ruy Teixeira is out doing it again. He’s upset that Democrats took his advice.
It is becoming clearer and clearer that Democrats have seriously erred by lumping Hispanics in with “people of color” and assuming they embraced a litany of liberal causes around race and other issues that are dear to the hearts of Democratic activists. This was a flawed assumption.
Ruy, where did Democrats get this idea from? Could it have been from your book: The Emerging Democratic Majority? Where you argued that demographics is destiny; and that as minorities make up a larger and larger share of the electorate that will translate into more voters for the Democratic Party?
What you are saying now would have been nice to know about 20 years ago.
But instead of working with Democrats you spend your days haranguing them over listening to you from the confines of your shiny, new perch over at the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
1. The AEI demographics tracker, which averages poll subgroup results, finds the Democratic Congressional margin among Hispanic voters consistently 7-9 points below its 2020 level and 17-19 points below its 2018 level.
The problem with this conclusion is that in 2018 polls showed Hispanic support for Congressional Democrats at 61% (Line 3C wk7 below):
But the actual vote for Congressional Democrats in 2018 was 69%. A polling error of 8%:
Obviously, having Donald Trump on the ballot in 2020 created a unique situation. But Donald Trump is not on the ballot in 2022. I see no reason that Hispanic voting should not show a similar level of rebound.
A recent Univision poll for the state of Nevada has Hispanic opinion of Senator Cortez-Masto at 61% (+30).
The same poll has these favorable items for Democrats:
Democrats care more about issues Latinos face 71%/42%
President Joe Biden favorability rating 61%
Senator Cortez-Masto favorability rating 61%
Governor Sisalak favorability rating 61%
President Donald Trump favorability 33%
Republicans in Congress favorability 32%
Democrats in Congress favorability 64%
Generic Nevada ballot D+33
66% support President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt
78% support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
94% support allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices
67% support banning AR-15 style weapons
68% support guaranteeing a women’s right to access abortion services
73% support a 15% minimum corporate minimum tax on corporations earning more than $1 billion in profit
62% oppose banning gay, lesbian and transgender student clubs
53% oppose banning books in school on the topics of race, racism and LGBTQ issues
61% believe government should do more to help solve problems
71% feel their financial situation is holding steady or getting ahead
63% believe Republican governors bussing migrants to sanctuary cities is an inappropriate political stunt
80% feel voter fraud is not a problem that has changed election results
Trust Democrats more to handle inflation over Republicans 45%/26%
Trust Democrats more to handle gas prices over Republicans 37%/25%
Trust Democrats more to handle prescription drug prices over Republicans 50%/23%
Trust Democrats more to protect immigrant rights over Republicans 56%/19%
Trust Democrats more to secure the border over Republicans 42%/28%
Trust Democrat more on abortion over Republicans 53%/21%
Trust Democrats more on gun violence over Republicans 51%/21%
The case is clear, Hispanics, at least in Nevada, are clearly on board with the Democratic over the Republican party. This is why I believe Senator Cortez-Masto will win Nevada, and probably more handily than the pundits are saying.
Teixeira lays out nine more cases from a number of polls:
2. Some very recent high quality polls have the Democratic margin in single digits. The NPR/Marist poll found the Democrats only leading by a single point among Hispanic voters. And the Quinnipiac poll has Democrats actually losing the House vote by 4 points and the Senate vote by a point among these voters.
3. Inflation and the economy are the top issues for Hispanic voters, even more so than among voters as a whole. Nothing else even comes close.
4. In the new CNN/SSRS poll, 78 percent of Hispanic voters say the economy is currently in a recession and 67 percent say they are dissatisfied with their personal financial situation.
5. In the same poll, just 35 percent of Hispanic voters say President Biden has had the right priorities, compared to 65 percent who say “he hasn’t paid enough attention to the country’s most important problems.”
6. In the Quinnipiac poll, 62 percent of Latinos disapprove of Biden’s handing of the economy while just 31 percent approve, for a net rating of -31.
7. In the same poll, an amazingly low 23 percent of Hispanics express approval of Biden’s handling of the situation at the border, compared to 62 percent who disapprove (-39 net rating).
8. In the NPR/Marist poll, Hispanics prefer the Republican party over the Democratic party on the issue of controlling inflation by 17 points.
9. In the same poll, Latinos prefer Republicans over Democrats by 20 points on dealing with crime and, surprisingly, by 6 points on dealing with immigration.
10. Even more shocking, the NPR poll finds Hispanics giving Donald Trump a higher favorability rating than Joe Biden! Just 37 percent say they are favorable to Biden compared to 41 percent for Trump.
I’m not sure which Quinnipiac poll Teixeira is looking at, but the one he linked has Democrats winning the House and Senate by 9 points among Hispanic voters.
In the Quinnipiac poll abortion is the number two issue:
Abortion (10 percent) ranks as the second most urgent issue with no other issue reaching double digits.
The CNN/SSRS poll also has abortion as the second highest item of concern for voters after the economy. Voting rights and election integrity are number 3. This poll also does not include which party the Hispanic voters would vote for today. All the other demographic groups are there (pg 26). However moderate voters prefer the generic Democratic candidate 58%/39% (+19).
Teixeira cherry-picks items from these polls to paint a picture about how badly Democrats are performing with Hispanic voters. He ignores where Democrats or Democratic issues perform well with Hispanic voters. This seems to be part of his change in focus from racial issues to class issues.
It is my contention that Teixeira has overcorrected. Since Trump unexpectedly won in 2016 polls and their interpretation have come under more and more scrutiny. Polls were much more accurate in 2018. The factor that seems to throw polls off the most is if Trump is on the ballot or not. Trump is not on the ballot in 2022. Even though Trump is not on the ballot I believe many polls have tried to adjust for his presence. That adjustment is presenting as a Republican party that is stronger than it actually is.
As I noted in my previous post, ever since Trump was elected Republicans have been losing power at the state and federal levels as shown by the number of seats being lost. Democrats currently control 22 governorships totaling 289 electoral college votes. If they win Arizona, they will control 23 governorships and 300 electoral votes.
This means that even if Republican state politicians try to void the 2024 presidential election there are enough Democratic governors to act as hedge against Republican success.
Over the coming days as you hear story after story about how polls are looking really bad for Democrats, please keep in mind that the whole story probably isn’t being told. Polls aren’t elections. If you haven’t voted, please go today if early voting is available to you. Make a plan and go vote.
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I don’t want to abuse your inboxes. You have enough going on in life. But I am wondering if you would like getting one longer form post like this (maybe work up to two eventually) and some shorter hot-take like posts throughout the week? Or just do what I want to do?
Let me know in the comments if you’ve voted already either early in-person or mail-in (you don’t have to share who you voted) or plan to vote in-person on election day. If you have already voted have you seen anything weird?
Thanks for writing this! I started writing a comment basically along these same
lines but it started getting pretty long and I started getting pretty angry! It’s infuriating that he chastises Dems for “lumping in Hispanics with other POC” when he literally did the same thing. Yet he still talks about Hispanic voters as a monolith - just a monolith that is “upwardly mobile, patriotic, and concerned about jobs and education and healthcare” as compared, I suppose,
to the other “POC” voters who by implication must *not* be “upwardly mobile or patriotic” or care about things like jobs, education and healthcare! Or at least not as much as the “liberal activist stuff”. What utter patronizing nonsense!
I don’t understand why he just doesn’t say “I was wrong. The political motivations driving different racial groups and different types of immigrants are much more complicated and nuanced than I imagined. While most non-white voters voted for Democrats and I though they always would, I now realize that lots of variables besides race can determine voter behavior - things like socioeconomic status, education level, religion, home country, immigrant status, time in the US, culture, and systemic racism all affect different groups of non-white voters in different ways - many in unpredictable ways.”
But no it’s just “listen you stupid Democrats, why don’t you try to understand what Hispanics think is important and pander to that” ugh
Great article. I read a lot of your comments on Morning Shots / Triad & like the views you espouse especially your optimism. So more regular posts on here are welcome & will certainly be read by me. Cheers 🥂