(NewsNation) — Republicans and Democrats are zeroing in on Hispanic voters with the midterms now less than two months away.
Analysts, though, are noticing a shift in Hispanic voters in favor of the Republican Party. The Wall Street Journal found that in the last presidential election, nearly 4,000 Latinos shifted to the GOP — while far less, just over 350, decided to flip toward the Democratic Party.
Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, Latino voters, once a “solidly Democratic bloc,” are emerging as a “swing group” for both parties, and their voting preferences are split along economic and class lines. One survey the publication conducted in late August found that “Latino voters would pick a Democrat for Congress over a Republican by 11 percentage points.” That’s lower than the Democrats’ previous 34-point advantage from 2018.
The Hill’s Mychael Schnell said one of the main drivers behind this is are ongoing economic woes under President Joe Biden.
“We’ve seen the economy sort of teetering downwards,” Hill said on NewsNation’s “Prime.” “Just this week, the stock market dropped 1,200 points. Inflation has been increasing, it hit a 40-year high recently.”
Schnell noted that Hispanic voters have noticed that the economy fared better under former Republican President Donald Trump — although she added that this was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Also, as other media outlets have pointed out, data shows that Trump “inherited” an already-strong economy from his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Another sticking point for some Hispanic voters who have become Republicans is immigration.
“Some Latino Democrats are frustrated with Democratic efforts to attain legal status for undocumented immigrants,” Schnell said.
Also unhappy with current immigration policy, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants coming into their states on buses to New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., in recent months. Most recently, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Schnell said some of her Hill colleagues spoke to Republican House members, and while they didn’t enthusiastically get behind the effort of these GOP governors, they did say that the strategy is putting “a spotlight on some of the issues that we’ve been talking about at the border.”