Trump is winning Latinos – that’s a problem for Dems | Monday Morning Coffee

February 25, 2019 7:11 am

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

So here’s one of those weird twists that only happens in Donald Trump’s America.

After an admirable mobilization effort in 2018 that saw Democrats bring Latino voters over to their side of the ledger, some trends are emerging that suggest Democrats can’t afford to take those same voters for granted in 2020.

In fact, as Politico suggests, they may be Trump’s ‘secret weapon’ in 2020.

A few bottom line facts:

  • Hispanic voters will make up the largest bloc of ethnic minority voters in 2020.
  • According to Pew Research Center data, 32 million Hispanic voters will be eligible to vote in 2020.
  • As Politico notes, that’s a full 2 million more than eligible African-American voters. Hispanics will make up 11 percent of the national vote next year, the same tally as in 2016 and 2018, Politico reported.

Trump took the support of nearly 28 percent of Hispanics in 2016, overperforming when many expected Hispanic voters to desert him in the face of his inflammatory rhetoric on immigration.

In January, as Politico notes, Trump tweeted that he’d reached 50 percent approvalamong Hispanic voters. That was based on Marist College polling. And some on the left were quick to dismiss it, pointing to a high margin of error and “possible over-sampling of Republicans,” Politico reports.

HIspanic voters in two, key battleground states, Florida and Michigan, helped Trumpeke out his Electoral College win in 2016. Better Democratic performance in those states – along with Pennsylvania, which Trump turned red for the first time in three decades – could have made all the difference in the world.

Last fall, we got some first-hand experience with Democrats putting the lessons of 2016 to work among Hispanic voters in Pennsylvania. Groups such as Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Votes hit the ground hard in Hispanic neighborhoods in Reading and elsewhere.

The bottom line, from Politico:

“Now, here’s the brutal truth for Democrats: If Hispanic Americans are in fact showing surging approval of Trump, he could be on his way to matching or exceeding the 40 percent won by George W. Bush in his 2004. If Trump does 12 percentage points better than his 2016 numbers with the growing Hispanic vote, it pretty much takes Florida, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina off the table for Democrats, who would need to sweep Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to reach the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House. At the same time, that 12-point shift would give Trump a clear shot at winning Colorado and Nevada, states where Hispanic voters make up well over 10 percent of the electorate and where Clinton won by 5 percentage points or less in 2016.”

As ever, Pennsylvania remains a key battleground for both the White House and control of the Senate in 2020. Party leaders learned their lesson 2018. History – and conditions on the ground – teach that they can’t afford to be complacent as the 2020 campaign revs up.

Our Stuff:
Elizabeth Hardison
 brings you the history of Harrisburg’s Old Eighth Ward – a vibrant and challenged African-American neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the state Capitol.
A Republican state House candidate in NePa shared a Clinton conspiracy theory on his Facebook pageStephen Caruso writes.
Capital-Star Washington Reporter Robin Bravender caught Gov. Tom Wolf’sspeech on criminal justice reform.
And on the Opinion side of the House, a Penn State scholar considers what Michael Cohen might have to say to Congress.

PennLive looks at the State College shooting spree – one month later.
The Inquirer explains how Johnny Doc and the Philly electricians’ union turned payroll deductions into political clout.
The Post-Gazette looks at Mayor Bill Peduto’s big development push.
After a night of high winds, thousands across Pennsylvania are still without power, The Tribune-Review reports.
A Fishtown soft pretzel shop has finally fallen to developers after 65 years, BillyPennreports.
In Jerusalem, an olive tree honors The Tree of LIfe victims (via The Incline).

Lehigh Valley voters will use paper ballots in 2019The Morning Call reports.
PoliticsPA has last week’s winners and losers in state politics.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:

Nearly 60 national security experts will sign a letter denouncing the White House’s emergency declaration on The Wall, Politico reports.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her own office, Roll Callreports.

What Goes On.
Budget hearings roll on in the House and Senate Appropriations committees.
First up, the Senate. (All meetings are in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building):
10 a.m.: Dept. of Labor & Industry
1 p.m.: Dept. of General Services
3 p.m.: Dept. of Transportation
Now the House (All meetings are in 140 Main Capitol):
10 a.m.:
 Pa. State Police/Homeland Security
1 p.m.: Corrections, Board of Probation & Parole, Commission on Crime & Delinquency, Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission
3 p.m.: Dept. of Health/Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs
Also …
At 12 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, addresses this month’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon at the Harrisburg Hilton.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
State Rep. Jason Ortitay
 holds a 5:30 p.m. reception at Little Amps on State Street. Admission runs $300 and $500.

Gov. Tom Wolf
 has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out to longtime Friend O’the BlogEllen Mellody, who celebrates today. Congrats and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s one from Anna of the North to get your Monday morning going. It’s ‘Leaning on Myself.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
The Coyotes got past Winnipeg 4-1 on Sunday, improving their playoff hopes.

Oscars Link:
The Green Book took home best picture on Sunday night – amid some controversy.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.