A few choice findings from the survey, which was conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International with the Tarrance Group:
— Only 36 percent of Latinos polled view the GOP favorably; by contrast, 68 percent view the Democratic Party favorably.
— 64 percent of Latinos polled view Obama favorably, and 59 percent say they’re satisfied with his presidency.
On the issues:
— 56 percent of Latinos polled say the Democratic Party is more in line with their views on economic policy and job creation; only 22 percent say that of the GOP.
— 60 percent of Latinos polled say the Democrats are more in line with their views on immigration policy; only 20 percent say that of the GOP.
On the presidential race and candidates:
— 68 percent of Latinos polled view Hillary Clinton favorably — far higher than any of the GOP presidential candidates, including Marco Rubio (35 percent) and Jeb Bush (39 percent).
— 62 percent of Latinos polled say they’ll vote for the Democratic candidate, versus only 23 percent who say they’ll vote for the Republican candidate.
— Among Latinos polled, Clinton leads Scott Walker by 69-20; she leads Marco Rubio by 66-25; and she leads Jeb Bush by 64-27. As Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill aptly note, that is in the same kind of territory as Obama’s 71-27 advantage over Romney among these voters in 2012.
Some have noted that today’s poll also shows that the economy ranks higher than immigration on the list of concerns for Latino voters. That, plus the fact that Democrats rank far higher on the economy than Republicans do, may give fodder to those who argue that there’s little percentage in the GOP embracing immigration reform. Since Latinos agree with Democrats when it comes to government’s role in the economy, too, even moderating on immigration might not win back Latinos in substantial numbers.
As you regulars know, I think Jeb Bush does have a credible shot at doing significantly better among Latinos than Romney did, because of his Latino-American family, his fluency in Spanish, and his heretical insistence on a more tolerant view of illegal immigrants. (Marco Rubio also has a credible shot, obviously, though I think he’s less likely to win the nomination.) So in my view the picture painted by the above numbers is not inevitable, and Democrats, too, should keep that in mind.
For now, though, it looks as if very little has changed since the RNC autopsy into what went wrong in 2012 urgently warned that Republicans must improve among these voters, or see the party’s appeal reduce to its “core constituencies only.” It’s very plausible that Republicans will nominate someone (such as Walker) who already seems to be operating from the premise that improving among Latinos is not all that necessary to winning the White House.
As Charlie Cook and David Wasserman recently noted, a Republican still very well could win without a real turnaround among Latinos, by outperforming among a range of demographic groups. But that seems like a big gamble, particularly since the Latino share of the vote is only going to grow in 2016, and the most important of the GOP’s “core constituencies,” blue collar whites, is only going to shrink.