A new poll indicates former US president Donald Trump is gaining ground among Latino voters, wiping out incumbent Joe Biden’s lead among the crucial, but diverse, voting bloc.
A USA Today and Suffolk University survey showed Trump was ahead with 39% support among Latino voters surveyed, compared to Biden’s 34%, signaling a slump since 2020, when Biden garnered 65% of the approval from Latino voters.
The data also highlights a broader trend of decreasing support for Biden among various key demographic groups, including young voters. The decline in support among Latinos is seen as a canary in the coal mine for Democrats, signaling potential challenges in retaining a key part of the electoral coalition that built Biden’s election victory in 2020.
Trump leads among young voters under 35 with 37% support over Biden’s 33%, a stark drop from Biden’s 24-point lead among the voting group in 2020.
However, although Biden was losing support among these groups of voters, they tend to lean toward third-party candidates instead of Trump, according to the poll which was conducted 26-29 December among 1,000 likely voters.
Twenty per cent of Hispanic and Black voters surveyed said they would support someone other than Trump or Biden, while 21% of younger voters indicated the same outcome.
In December, a CNBC All-America Economic Survey also revealed a significant shift in support among Latino voters. In a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Trump now holds a five-point lead with Latino voters, erasing Biden’s previous seven-point lead in October.
The survey, conducted between 8 and 12 December, suggests a decline in Biden’s overall performance among Latino voters, with his approval dropping from 35% in October to 28% in December.
Historic data shows that Trump tends to perform better with Latino voters during economic stress. The survey results raise concerns for Democrats about their hold on this crucial demographic.
Trump’s lead stands even as he leans into the kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric that he used when he locked the Republican nomination in 2016, including racist language reminiscent of far-right dictators.
The former president has listed some of the steps he would purportedly take to widen his administration’s strict immigration policies, including shifting “massive portions of federal law enforcement to immigration enforcement” and moving “thousands of troops currently stationed overseas to our own southern border”.
Trump also said he would reinstate and expand travel bans he first carried out in 2017 toward several Muslim-majority and African countries. Another Trump administration would also include rounding up placing undocumented immigrants already in the US in detention camps to await deportation.