Poll: Trump’s Hispanic support on par with Romney in 2012

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Donald Trump is running nearly even in Hispanic support compared to Republicans’ last two presidential nominees, according to a new poll.

In a two-way race against Hillary Clinton, a Pew Research poll found that 24 percent of Hispanic registered voters support Trump. 

{mosads}Those numbers reflect Hispanic support for the two last Republican presidential nominees, Mitt Romney — who polled at 21 percent — and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — 23 percent — before the 2012 and 2008 elections. 

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is currently favored by 66 percent of registered Hispanics in a head-to-head with Trump.

With Libertarian Gary Johnson in the mix, Clinton gets 58 percent support, Trump 20 percent and Johnson 13 percent. Among all demographic groups, Clinton’s lead is cut to 45 percent, Trump jumps to 36 percent, and Johnson commands 11 percent of voter intent.

Trump’s low numbers with Hispanics reflect a campaign that on several occasions has irked the voting bloc. 

In his inaugural campaign speech in June of last year, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “rapists” who are “bringing crime.” Trump further damaged his rapport with Mexican Americans, by far the largest subgroup within U.S. Hispanics, by promising to build a wall on the southern border.

In June, Trump said Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel could not be objective in a case involving Trump University because “he’s Mexican.” Curiel was born in Indiana.

While Romney did not focus on immigration as heavily in 2012, he angered many Hispanics by promoting “self-deportation” for undocumented immigrants, ultimately receiving 27 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit polls.

Hispanic voters could decide the election in Colorado, Florida and Nevada, key battleground states in 2016. 

Clinton’s advantage in perception among Latinos is likely unsurmountable, but whether that translates to states won will depend on registration and turnout. 

Latinos are less likely to register to vote, and less likely to vote once registered, than any other ethnicity. In the survey, Pew reported only 49 percent of eligible Latinos are “absolutely certain” they are registered, compared to 69 percent of African Americans and 80 percent of whites.

In the subgroup of Latinos who aren’t sure if they registered, Clinton leads Trump 87 percent to 7 percent.

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