The Changing Landscape: Trump’s Gaining Ground among Latino Voters

As the political landscape continues to evolve, new survey data from CNBC indicates that Republican front-runner Donald Trump is making significant strides in gaining Latino voters’ support, posing a potential threat to President Joe Biden. In a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, the poll reveals that Trump holds a 5-point lead over Biden among Latino voters. This remarkable shift comes as a surprise given that just three months ago, Biden enjoyed a 7-point lead among this key voting bloc. The findings serve as a fresh warning sign to Democrats, signaling a potential loss of their stronghold on Latino voters who played a crucial role in Biden’s presidential victory in 2020.

In addition to the decline in Latino support, the CNBC survey also indicates a decrease in Biden’s favorability among young women and independents. These findings suggest a broader erosion of support for the President and the Democratic Party. Among all respondents, the poll reveals Trump with a 48-42 lead over Biden, widening the margin from his 46-42 lead in the previous October survey. The survey, conducted between December 8 and 12, collected data from 1,002 Americans, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Latino policy leaders have criticized Biden for his approach to border security reform, disturbing the already fragile relationship between the administration and this demographic. One particular point of contention is a White House-backed deal that aimed to secure Republican support for a substantial foreign aid package for Israel and Ukraine. This deal involved linking it to stricter border enforcement measures, which drew objections from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Latino leaders. The concern is that combining border policy with foreign aid sets a dangerous precedent and provides Republicans with leverage to push for more stringent immigration reforms.

While opposition to Biden’s border policies may explain some of the decline in Latino support, it fails to fully account for why these same voters are turning to Trump. The former president has consistently centered his campaign on opposition to immigration, going as far as falsely claiming that undocumented migrants contribute to higher crime rates and pose threats to public health. Despite Biden’s more progressive agenda on immigration reform, it appears that other factors are at play in this election cycle.

Heading into 2024, economic concerns have become prominent in the minds of voters, including Latino voters, and have become a central focus of Biden’s reelection campaign. This shift could potentially favor Trump, as he tends to perform better with Latino voters during times of economic stress. A November survey conducted by UnidosUS revealed that rising living costs, job security, and the overall state of the economy are the primary concerns among Latino voters leading up to the next election. Additionally, another poll conducted in November among 235 Hispanic voters indicated a preference for Trump’s economic policies. Economic pessimism has proven to be a significant hurdle for Biden, with voters attributing stubbornly high consumer prices to his administration.

The shifting dynamics of Latino voter support indicate a changing political landscape that could have significant implications for future elections. Democrats must address the concerns raised by Latino policy leaders regarding border security reform and reconcile their immigration stance with broader economic priorities. Biden and the Democratic Party must find ways to effectively communicate their policies and demonstrate their dedication to addressing the economic challenges faced by Latino communities. Failure to do so may result in further erosion of support among this crucial voting bloc, potentially giving Republicans an advantage in future elections. As the 2024 election approaches, both parties must take note of the shifting tides and craft strategies that resonate with the evolving needs and priorities of Latino voters.


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