Latino Shift to GOP Would Shake California, US Elections

December 23, 2021 Updated: December 27, 2021

Commentary

“Hispanics are Republican voters,” President Ronald Reagan once said. “They just don’t know it yet.”

Well, it looks like they know it now. Numerous polls show Hispanic (or Latino) voters are shifting toward the GOP. After the recent vote for governor in Virginia, a state with significant Latino population growth, an exit survey by AP VoteCast showed GOP winner Glenn Youngkin won 55 percent of the Latino vote, to 43 percent for Democrat Terry McAuliffe. That was a big change in a state that, according to a 2020 Washington Poll exit poll, went 60 percent for Democrat Joe Biden to 40 percent for Republican Donald Trump.

The latest: A Dec. 11–13 Marist Poll of 1,400 national adults gauged President Joe Biden’s approval. Here are the numbers by party.

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No surprise there. Democrats love Biden, Republicans aren’t fond of him.

Next, look at this number for Latinos.

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The above spells big problems for Democrats. The fastest-growing ethnic group in the country is Latinos, now at 19 percent of the population. But Latinos’ 33 percent approval is the least of the groups surveyed.

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Next, combining the last two questions, notice how Latinos, today largely working-class voters, at 65 percent disapproval of Biden, align with white working-class (Not College Graduate) voters, at 67 percent.

I’ll just mention one more: Rural voters of all types are at 71 percent disapproval, the highest of any group surveyed. That’s also approximately the percentage of rural voters in Virginia, until recently Democrats, who backed Youngkin. Basically, it was Virginia Latinos, rural whites, and suburban moms (who just recently had been voting Democrat) who flipped for the GOP.

Worker Revolt

What we’re seeing is the revolt of the working class against the Democratic Party. Previously the main home of workers, the Democrats have been flipping out with CRT, extreme PC, “wokeness,” and general disdain for regular Americans of all types. Biden also recently said that early next year he’ll be dumping two programs popular with the working class. The suspension of college debt payments will end, as will the child tax credit.

College-educated people of all ethnic groups are more likely to back Biden because of the indoctrination received in college. Yours truly and many readers of The Epoch Times excluded.

Another factor with Latinos is the absurd attempt to actually change their language from Latina and Latino to Latinx. Anyone who has studied languages knows that many of them—such as Spanish and Russian, the two I know best—are highly gendered, with every noun masculine, feminine, or neutral.

When I was learning Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, our teachers—in 1978–79 they were all exiles from Soviet communism—told us how the Bolsheviks actually did change the language based on ideology. According to “How the Bolsheviks revolutionized the Russian language,” an article in Russia Beyond, “After 1917, the new Bolshevik government acted much more decisively: its intention was to ditch everything ‘old’—the tsarist regime, religion, the economy and the language.”

For Latinos, according to a November Bendixen & Amandi International poll, just 2 percent of U.S.-born Latinos use Latinx, while 40 percent are offended by it. On Dec. 14 in the liberal NBC News, Luisita Lopez Torregrosa wrote, “Many Latinos like myself see the ‘X’ as odd and off-putting because it doesn’t follow the traditional structure of Spanish, making it awkward and difficult to pronounce because in Spanish few words end with two consonants.

“In fact, recent national surveys of Hispanics/Latinos show that the term Latinx is highly unpopular. Influential media and advocacy groups have started dropping the term or even arguing against its use to avoid offending those who dislike it. It might have been intended to be more inclusive, but it actually can feel exclusionary to everyday people.”

On Dec. 9, LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, dropped Latinx from its official communications. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) wrote on Twitter, “When Latino politicos use the term, it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use. … It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias.”

But such organizations as Latinx Young Democrats of Sacramento still use the term, which can’t but hurt Democrats generally.

Effect on California Elections

The effect of these changes among Latino sentiments remains to be seen. The only “poll” that counts is the one on election day.

The first test will be on the June 7 primary. Because the state has the Top Two system, we’ll see if Republicans do better than they did in 2018. That year the GOP did so poorly, two Democrats finished at the top for U.S. senator, lieutenant governor, and the (ostensibly nonpartisan) superintendent of public instruction. If enough Latinos shift to Republican in June to make sure voters at least have a choice between the two parties in November, that would be a big change.

Sen. Alex Padilla will be up for reelection, along with all the state offices, beginning with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reelection bid.

Next, as I noted in my previous article, due to the new redistricting maps, it’s going to be tough for Republicans to keep their 11 seats from California in the House of Representatives. If they can keep them, or even pick up a couple extra, Latinos would play a major role in the shift.

Which is why politics is so interesting. The pieces on the 5D chessboard keep moving around by themselves.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John Seiler
John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. He has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com