Donald Trump has regularly insisted that, despite his rhetoric about illegal immigrants, he would win the support of Hispanic voters in a general election. This argument was bolstered by the results of the voting in Nevada, where he won nearly half the Latino vote, according to entrance polls reported by CNN. Sure, he lost Hispanics in Texas, but winning any state seems unexpected.
Still, those entrance polls are a subset of a subset of the vote. As new data from Gallup shows, Donald Trump is very unpopular with Hispanics overall -- far less popular than any of the remaining presidential candidates.
We'll start by noting that Donald Trump is deeply unpopular with lots of people -- mostly everyone except a bit under half of the Republican Party. As Dartmouth's Brendan Nyhan noted on Twitter on Thursday, he's the least popular presidential candidate at this stage of an election in decades.
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) March 10, 2016
Gallup's data suggests that this holds true for Hispanics as well. Among the Hispanics surveyed by Gallup, Trump is viewed favorably by 12 percent and unfavorably by 77 percent, for a net favorability of negative-65. That's 61 points worse than the second-worst-viewed candidate, Ted Cruz.
Eleven percent of those who responded have no opinion of Trump. Since we're comparing Trump to much less well-known candidates, we can create an adjusted net favorability, which is how much more favorably he's viewed by just the 89 percent (12 plus 77) who've heard of him. Among those with an opinion, his net favorability is minus-73.
Again, this is all Hispanics -- a group that leans Democratic. But Gallup also broke down the numbers for Hispanic Republicans. In that group, the most popular candidate was Marco Rubio (assuming he's still a candidate by the time you read this). Then Cruz, then John Kasich -- and then both Democrats, before getting to Trump.
Trump is winning right now in part because he's running against three other people. In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, he trails Ted Cruz in a one-on-one race. In a general election against a Democrat whom even Republican Hispanics view more positively than him, it's very hard to imagine that Trump would somehow win a majority of that population. Especially since Hispanics have voted Democratic by wide margins for years.
Not that this is likely to deter Donald Trump from once again saying he'll win Hispanics. For him, data is not usually much of an obstacle.