Despite Donald Trump’s insistence that he loves “the Hispanics” and “the African-American people” the feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual.
The Republican presidential nominee is deeply unpopular with voters of color, 88 percent of whom reported unfavorable views of the New York businessman, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week. That’s 29 percentage points higher than his 59 percent unfavorable rating with white voters.
Looking at Trump’s new unfavorable numbers, combined with those from last month’s poll, 88 percent of African Americans and 87 percent of Hispanics have an unfavorable view of Trump, and more than three-quarters of each group had a “strongly unfavorable” view of him.
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is almost as popular with voters of color as Trump is unpopular. Averaging the two most recent Washington Post-ABC News polls, Clinton has a favorable rate of 78 percent with African Americans and 70 percent with Hispanics. She is viewed favorably by 31 percent of whites.
The former secretary of state’s favorable ratings have dropped dramatically among white voters, from 59 percent in 2013, shortly after she left the Obama administration, to 38 percent in mid-2015, a few months after announcing her presidential campaign to the current low of 31 percent. But her popularity has not withered with black and Latino voters over the same period.
Overall 70 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump — up 10 points from last month, including a 56 percent majority who say they “strongly” view him this way. Clinton had a 55 percent unfavorable rating (39 percent “strongly” negative), about the same as last month, but the highest level in a Post-ABC poll in nearly 25 years.
Unfavorable ratings toward both Clinton and Trump are higher than for any major-party presidential nominee in Post-ABC surveys from 1984 onward.
Trump launched his campaign a year ago with a speech in which he railed against undocumented immigrants and said Mexico was not sending its “best and the finest” residents, but rather those who are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.”
Despite broad criticism of those remarks, including from many Republican leaders, he has not backed down. In recent weeks Trump has attacked a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage, stepped up his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants and suggested President Obama sympathized with Islamist terrorists, after a man claiming loyalty to both ISIS and al-Qaeda carried out a mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando that left 49 dead.
Bruce LeVell, an Atlanta-area businessman who heads the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, dismissed the poll.
“I respectfully disagree and the reason why is, there was a tremendous amount of people of color attending the rally in Atlanta,” LeVell said, referring to a Wednesday event at which Trump criticized GOP leaders who have criticized his comments in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
LeVell, who is African American, defended Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzolo Curiel, who is presiding over a civil suit against the defunct Trump University, saying that the candidate has a right to protest if he believes that the judge is biased.
Luis Alvarado, a Republican consultant in Los Angeles, said Trump’s attacks on Curiel were even more troubling than his rants about undocumented immigrants.
“If he seemed to be addressing a small percentage of the Latino population with his comments about those who are undocumented, he has expanded it to include every Latino, and for that matter every minority in the country,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado, who is a veteran, said he also has been offended by Trump's questioning of whether Sen. John McCain is a war hero because he was captured and held prisoner in Vietnam. McCain, like many prominent GOP members of Congress, is supporting Trump. Alvarado said he will not vote for Trump, nor will he vote for Clinton. He is encouraging Latino voters to turnout and cast ballots for Republicans in down-ballot contests.
“I have discouraged anybody from voting for him, not just Latinos, but everybody,” he said.
Maria Teresa Kumar, president and The Voto Latino Action Network, issued a statement Thursday noting that “It was one year ago today when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign with attacks against immigrants and Latinos."
“We have fought back by reminding all candidates that our voice matters and that we will not be made to feel less than American," Kumar said.
Voto Latino is nonpartisan, but it is encouraging Latinos to register and turnout in force in November, as are other and other groups involved in mobilizing Hispanic voters. Many Republican strategists, including Alvarado predict that Trump will get less Hispanic support than Republican nominee Mitt Romney got in 2012, when he got about 27 percent, according to network exit polling.
LeVell predicted that Trump will get “way above 25 percent. Easy.” He said his group, which includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and women, is meeting soon with the Republican National Committee to discuss strategy.
Alvarado has a prediction of his own: “Donald Trump will do worse with the Latino electorate than any Republican or Democrat candidate ever in history.”
While Trump’s unpopularity with African Americans and Hispanics offers Democrats a chance at expanding the party’s advantage with both groups, this could be partly offset by Clinton’s weakness with white voters. Her 67-percent unfavorable rating among whites in the two most-recent Post-ABC polls is 11 points higher than Obama’s at a similar point in 2012. It’s unclear whether Trump can capitalize on this, however, as he is also seen negatively by 55 percent of whites.
The new poll shows that African Americans continue to be Clinton’s strongest and most loyal fans. Clinton’s favorable among black voters, based on the last two surveys is 78 percent. That’s slightly less than the 84 percent favorable rating she got in 2013, but far less dramatic than the 28 percent-point free fall she has experienced with white voters. Among Hispanics, Clinton’s favorable ratings have hardly changed during that period, ticking up from 68 percent to 70 percent.
The Post-ABC polls were conducted among random national samples of adults reached on cellular and landline phones. In combined May and June surveys, results among whites are based on 1,384 interviews and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Results among the sample of 187 African Americans have an eight-point error margin, while results among the sample of 250 Hispanics respondents have a seven-point error margin.