Dems' hoped for surge in Hispanic turnout an illusion

Democrats have been touting their "blue wave" for months, believing that their anti-Trump, anti-GOP hysteria will drive minorities and women to the polls.

But as we get closer to election day, it is becoming more apparent that this hoped for surge in turnout among their core constituencies is mostly a mirage.

There are indications that two important groups – Republican women and Hispanics – will not be giving Democrats the boost at the polls that they hoped.  Republican women are "coming home" to vote for the GOP while there is no indication that Hispanics will turn out in any greater numbers than they did in the last midterm election in 2014.

New York Times:

But interviews with dozens of Hispanic voters in Nevada and California, two key battleground states, showed a more complicated picture that is deeply alarming to Democratic Party officials.  Away from campaign rallies and candidates, many voters said they felt disempowered rather than emboldened; they expressed feelings of cynicism, apathy and fear fueled by the highly fraught political moment.  Others said that messaging about immigration policy alone is not enough to motivate them.

And some have simply lost faith that politicians will follow through on their promises once the elections are over.

"It's the same as in Mexico – they promise people they're going to help, and they don't," said Cesar Gustamente, 28, over a plate of carne asada in east Las Vegas, when asked about why he might not vote in the tossup Senate race there.

Mr. Gustamente, who is Mexican-American, voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has been upset by President Trump's language.  But "there are times where you're just wasting your time on voting," he said.

An election-year intensity gap between whites and Hispanics is one of the biggest worries for the Democrats heading into the midterms.  They would stand a far better chance of capturing many of the Republican-held House districts that voted for Hillary Clinton, they say, if Hispanic adults registered and voted in greater numbers.

Pew Research reported a few days ago that Hispanic turnout has actually been declining since 2006, despite just about every election this century being billed as "The Year of the Hispanic Voter." 

Hispanics turn out in equal percentages to whites.  And they are not quite as monolithic in their preferences as are American blacks, who cast 90% or more of their votes for Democrats.  Hispanics often give nearly 30% of their vote to Republicans, with some GOP candidates receiving even more than that.

Democrats hoped to get Hispanics so mad at Trump and scared of Republicans that they will show up at the polls in huge numbers.  It isn't working, although Hispanics may play a decisive role in races in Texas, California, and Florida.  But you could have said the same thing in any of the last half-dozen election cycles.

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