Key Points: Historic Latino Vote Margin & Exit Polls

Posted on 11/08/2016

Key points thus far on the Historic Latino Vote Margin and the Exit Polls
1) When discussing the Latino vote, it’s critical to use the tested and accurate Latino Decisions data, which finds only 18 percent of Latinos support Trump, an all time low for a GOP candidate. (More info below on why this is trusted methodology). 
Clinton: 79 percent 
Trump: 18 percent 
Other: 3 percent
Remember: President Bush got 44% of Latinos in 2004. Since that time, the vote share has gone UP 70% and Trump’s vote share has gone DOWN by 60%.
2) Among Latino voters polled, immigration was THE most important issue in every single state polled according to Latino Decisions
3) Exit polling confirms that after 16 months of attacks, support for a pathway to citizenship remains at an all-time high of 71%.
Below is our memo that is filled with talking points.
More on why Latino Decisions methodology is key:
Latino Decisions, the most trusted expert on Hispanic polling, has consistently shown Clinton far ahead of Trump all year using a rock-solid, representative, bilingual methodology.  Their just released exit poll shows that those polling results carried over until election day.

In recent years, it has become clear that exit polls — especially early exit polls shared by the networks — are flawed predictors of turnout and vote share of the candidates.  This is especially true with harder-to-reach minority populations.

The Latino vote is subject to especially high volatility due to language barriers and the difficult of interviewing that population.  During the entire campaign cycle there was a huge amount of variability on the Latino vote and much of it was wrong because of a lack of bilingual interviewing or care in sampling newer immigrant populations.  Frankly, many pollsters just got the Latino data wrong throughout the cycle by using a poor methodology.

Ultimately, there will be disagreement about Latino turnout and vote share.  We urge caution in interpreting the results and waiting for facts and methodologically rigorous data like the Latino Decisions exits before drawing conclusions.  We believe it will support a historic victory for Clinton among Latinos and a complete rejection of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

What They’re Saying: On Election Day & The Surging Latino Turnout

Posted on 11/08/2016

“Donald Trump opened his White House bid by stoking fears of Mexicans flooding the border. But in the end, it may be a Latino voter surge that walls him out.” — Suzanne Gamboa at NBC News.
“We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” — GOP Growth & Opportunity Project report, March 2013.
In the polls…
Below are two select results from the first installment of the Latino Decisions’ Election Eve National and State Polls:
Immigration is a top issue within the Latino community. “When asked an open ended question in the Latino poll, a plurality of 39% of Latino voters nationwide said immigration/deportation was one of the most important issues facing the Latino community that politicians should address…” — Latino Decisions Election Eve National and State Polls.
Additionally, “Two-thirds of Latino voters say immigration was the most important or one of the most important issues to their voting decisions: A combined two-thirds of Latino voters nationwide (66%) said that the issue of immigration was either the most important issue in their decision to vote and their candidate preference (22% said “the most”) or “one of the important issues” (42%). An additional 27% said immigration was “somewhat important”, while only 8% said immigration was “not really important” to their voting decisions.”  — Latino Decisions Election Eve National and State Polls.
In the news…
“At the end of Trump’s campaign, he has returned to the theme with which he began: the threat that immigrants pose to American society….But the real news was about the electoral clout of “these people.” The background to those rallies was the accumulating evidence of a surge of Latino early voters, who may well change the course of this election.” —  Benjamin Wallace-Wells at the New Yorker.
“The very simplistic rhetoric that you hear from the Trump campaign about build the wall, ship ’em home, it just doesn’t resonate with Arizona voters by and large. It resonates with about 30 percent of the Republican base.” Faith Mangan and Alicia Acuna at Fox News, with Chuck Coughlin, Arizona political analyst.
“[A]n elderly couple from El Salvador, who had been legal permanent residents since 1988, decided to become citizens and cast their first votes Tuesday. The couple, Fabio, 91 and Marta, 80, Alvarado had told their daughter “they were so extremely disturbed” by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the campaign that they were they pushed their daughter to help them get their citizenship, said Jorge Mario-Cabrera, spokesman for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CHIRLA.” — Suzanne Gamboa at NBC News.
“What an ugly year, no? Trumpism begetting Trumptakes on how the country was being ripped apart by the toxic American bundle of born-again nativism, old-school white racism, and “economic anxiety.” But then there’s this, which the immigration- advocacy group FWD pointed out today: Over the last decade —inclusive of 2016— there’s actually been a massive shift towards a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. In a recent poll, Pew Research found that 80% of Americans support creating a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. That includes 60% of Trump supporters and 77% of Republicans who voted for other candidates in the primary! This is a massive shift from a decade ago, in 2006, when only 40% of Americans favored a path to legalization.” —  Alexis C. Madrigal at Fusion.
“Arevalo said she hopes those in power in the country, and those running for public office in the future, are sent a clear message this election that the Hispanic vote is important, powerful, and capable of swinging an election — and that those who choose to sow racial divisiveness and unfounded fears about immigrants will face consequences at the ballot box.” Kevin Rector at the Baltimore Sun.
As seen on TV…
“It’s also what kind of America are we and what kind of America we want to be. In “Hamilton,” the lovely musical, there’s that great line in that song “Immigrants get things done.” Well, immigrants are now poised to perhaps deliver this election for Hillary Clinton. We are talking about a surge in the Latino vote that perhaps could be decisive in Florida, in North Carolina, in Nevada. So it’s very interesting that immigrants are not just thinking about, you know, comprehensive immigration reform but are thinking about how the country thinks about them as a group, how welcoming we are as a country to immigrants.” — David Gregory on CNN.
“[If Trump wins], the first thing he will do is irreversibly reshape the party. This was the party of Reagan, and the Bush years were sort of an echo of the Reagan years. Reagan defined the contours of the party. Trump will do that, and it’ll be change. Particularly the most obvious issues are going to be immigration and trade.” — Charles Krauthammer on Fox News.
“Ironically, Donald Trump said that after 2012, he was one of those weighing in and saying, ‘Boy, if you don’t pass immigration reform and start treating these people with respect, you Republicans are never going to win anything,’ and yet he doubled down on the ugly side of that message.” — Chris Cuomo on CNN
Bedtime reading…
Parting Tweet…
“Fascinating early voter data of Puerto Rican voters in Central Florida via @QueVoteMiGente #ElectionDay” — Julio Ricardo Varela, @Julito77

UPDATE - Immigration Policy Contrasts Set the Table for Election Day

Posted by Todd Schulte, President, on 11/08/2016


Latinos are coming out in record numbers and are changing the landscape of the electorate. “Latino Decisions projects between 1.9 million and 3.5 million additional Latinos voters in 2016 compared to the 11.2 million” in 2012. [Latino Decisions, 11/3/16]

Asian-Americans are shattering records in key battleground states. “Ballots from Asian-Americans have roughly doubled in Florida, Arizona, Virginia and North Carolina. In Georgia, ballots from the group have almost tripled.” [Associated Press, 11/7/16]

Low propensity voters coming out in Florida, with large Latino share.  A record, no party affiliation vote in Florida is 4 points more diverse than the electorate at-large, including a 20% Hispanic share. [, 11/7/16]


Early vote trends and turnout made clear what polling showed going into this election: in a tight race, Donald Trump’s immigration policies are hurting him badly. Voters are mobilizing and are using the ballot box to fight back against Donald Trump.

Both Latinos and Asian Americans, the two fastest growing groups in the electorate, are shattering records nationwide and in key battleground states that are essential to reaching the Electoral College threshold. Moreover, it’s previously low propensity Latinos in places like Florida coming out to vote.

This is a tight race, but Hillary Clinton’s structural advantage, her historic lead among Latinos, Asian Americans and college-educated and young white voters, is a direct response to her strong contrast with Donald Trump’s immigration proposals.

From a policy perspective, the constant focus on the question of what to do with the 11 million has made the policy of opposing immigration reform synonymous with Trump’s rhetoric. The same policies geared only toward deporting millions will remain politically toxic, even when they’re wrapped up again in poll-tested euphemisms.

From a political perspective as we head into election day, it appears that Trump’s immigration rhetoric and “plans” have had the opposite of the intended effect – it has made the plight of undocumented immigrants more poignant in the minds of the American public, while driving support for immigration reform to all-time highs (including with Republicans), with 80% of the public supporting legalization and only 18% supporting “deport as many as possible,” or the Trump plan. Trump is on pace to get less than half of President Bush’s 2004 vote share with Latinos and Asian-Americans.

From beginning to end, voters were paying attention. Poll tracking showed that the three worst political moments for Trump — until the Access Hollywood tape — were when anti-immigrant policies intersected with personal attacks that personified the issue: Judge Curiel (first two weeks of June), attacks on the Khan family (post-convention) and Alicia Machado (post-debate).

Moving forward, it would be a severe mistake for Republicans to believe that their flawed messenger was the problem. The problem lies in the message and the policies.


Support for legalization has steadily risen during this campaign and is at an all-time high, 80% of Americans back legalization, while only 18% support a mass deportation plan. Fox News polling showed the same number: 77% of Americans support a system of legalization for undocumented immigrants, as opposed to mass deportation, which only enjoys the support of 19%. To put this into historical context, in 2010 the public was roughly split on this issue at 49% legalization, 45% deport all. [Pew Research Center, 10/27/16] [FOX News, 8/31/16]

Among Republican primary voters, Trump’s original base of supporters are evenly split on the issue, but a staggering 76% of Republicans who supported other candidates supported a “path to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the country.” [Pew Research Center, 10/27/16].

76% of Republicans in total support a pathway to citizenship. [Gallup, 7/20/16]


Trump’s immigration policies have turned off the fastest growing demographic groups in the country – not only is he on pace to get the lowest share ever of Latinos and Asian-Americans, but the potential damage to the Republican party could last for years.

Latinos are coming out in record numbers and are changing the landscape of the electorate. “Latino Decisions projects that between 13.1 million and 14.7 million Latinos will vote in 2016. This estimate represents a 3% to 5% increase over the 2012 Latino turnout rate… will yield between 1.9 million and 3.5 million additional Latinos voters in 2016 compared to the 11.2 million who voted four years ago.” [Latino Decisions, 11/3/16]

Tracking polls project that “79% of Latinos will vote for Clinton, 18% for Trump, and the remaining three percent voting for other candidates. Clinton’s projected share is higher than Obama received during his 2012 re-election bid.” [Latino Decisions, 11/7/12]

With Latinos:

In 2004, George Bush received 44% of the Latino vote, Trump is on track to win less than half of that and well less than Romney’s 27% in 2012. [Latino Decisions model, 10/6/16].

Latinos made up 6% of the electorate in 2004, 9% in 2008 and 10% in 2012,  — a 66% increase in eight years. [Roper Center, 1/1/12/ Pew, 6/27/04, [Latino Decisions, 11/2/16]

With Asian-Americans:

Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing demographic by percentage in the country, having increased from 2% of the electorate in 1992 to nearly 6% (projected) in 2016. [Asian American Voices, 10/5/16]

George W. Bush earned 43% of the vote, 26% voted for Romney in 2012.  It appears this downward trend will drop off again in  2016[Asian American Voices, 10/5/16]


Latinos, Asian-Americans, and college educated and young white voters are fleeing  anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric — making diverse states like Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia much more difficult for Republicans and moving others like North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona from safely Republican into battlegrounds.

In Florida, there is a 152 percent increase over a similar period during the 2012 election [, 11/7/16]

The electoral impact is critical: take states that Democrats have won in each of the last four elections, plus New Hampshire, and add Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia.  that gives Democrats 279 electoral votes. [, 11/2/16]

In addition to California and Texas, there are four states where Latinos will make up at least 15% of eligible voters in 2016: Florida, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. [Pew Hispanic Center, 1/19/16]


Polling shows Trump’s opposition to legalization (and his support for mass deportation) have pushed young and college-educated white voters away from the Republican nominee. The impact in places like New Hampshire, North Carolina and the suburbs of Denver and Philadelphia is critical. [Global Strategy Group Poll, 7/18/16].

Young and college-educated white voters are fleeing Trump’s anti-immigration campaign. Nearly one-third of white Republican women with degrees viewed Trump negatively, and 1 in 5 viewed Trump strongly negatively. [Washington Post-ABC Poll, 8/18/16]


Until Republicans make an effort to pass meaningful immigration reform, the perception will remain that the GOP is the Party of Trump on immigration. A bipartisan plan to fix our broken immigration system is the only affirmative step that will convince voters both parties are serious about this issue.

As the 2013 Growth & Opportunity Project stated, “It is encouraging that there are many Republican leaders both in the House and the Senate working on immigration proposals. As the party advocates for positive solutions on immigration, we will be more successful appealing to Hispanic voters on other issues.”

The failure to pass immigration reform likely sets in place an Electoral College map that makes it challenging for Republicans to regain the White House for a generation. Substantial problems down ballot that will worsen over time, and could have ripple effects by depriving Republicans from appointing Supreme Court justices and regulatory agency leadership.

Moving forward, it would be a severe mistake for Republicans to believe that their flawed messenger was the problem. The problem lies in the message and the policies.

What They’re Saying: Early Voting & Surging Latino Turnout

Posted on 11/07/2016


“The story of this election may be the mobilization of the Hispanic vote…” — Senator Lindsey Graham in the New York Times.


“We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” — GOP Growth & Opportunity Project report, March 2013

In the news…

“This year, Hispanic voters, perhaps motivated by Donald J. Trump’s policy proposals (including deportation) and harsh language aimed at undocumented Hispanic immigrants, really might decide this election.” — Nate Cohen at New York Times

“Early voting makes a serious case that the Latino “sleeping giant” is finally rustling awake. In Arizona, Latinos have gone from 11 percent of the early-voting electorate in 2012 to 13 percent this year. In Texas, Latino early voting rose 26 percent. In Florida, 152 percent,” — Vox’s Dara Lind.

A “tracking poll conducted by polling firm Latino Decisions for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) began eight weeks ago and…[t]he tracking poll numbers show Clinton receiving her highest favorability rating among Latinos in the last week of the tracking poll, now at 70 percent. By contrast, Donald Trump continues to occupy low ratings among Latinos, now at 17 percent,” — NBC News’ Stephen Nuno.

“Including absentee ballots, 911,000 Hispanics have voted — more than a third of whom did not vote in 2012. ‘We’re witnessing explosive early voting turnout of Hispanics — both those newly registered to vote as well as those who sat on the sidelines in 2012,’” — Miami Herald’s Alex Leary with University of Florida political science professor Dan Smith.

“Latino early voters have soared by 144 percent since 2012 [in Georgia]. Though Georgia’s Latino population is just 9.4 percent, which is small compared to other states, the presidential race there is close enough for those votes to have an impact.” — Vice’s Tess Owen.

“I repeat: Trump is dead here [in Nevada due to early voting], barring a miracle or anomalies invisible not just to me, or many other experts.” — Reno Gazette Journal’s Jon Ralston.

As seen on TV…

“This race was lost at the very first hour when Donald Trump came down the escalator and talked about Mexicans as rapists and murderers in this race and we may see a tidal wave crashing of Latino vote on Tuesday night that will forever change American politics” — Steve Schmidt, Republican Strategist, on MSNBC.

“Florida is really off the charts, the growth in Florida is tremendous…look at the vote in South Florida on election night and I think you’re going to see the highest numbers you have ever seen for a Democrat in some of those Cuban enclaves that have traditionally been voting Republican in very high numbers.” — Professor Matt Barreto, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Bedtime reading…

Parting Tweet…

“Col+ whites strongly reject building wall, mass deportation, lean anti-globalism-opposite side of core issues for b/c base” — Ronald Brownstein‏@RonBrownstein