One of my all-time favorite quotes is, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts,” The quote is attributed to the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and usually applicable to any heated political discussion.
Another popular alternative to Moynihan’s quote is, “Facts are inconvenient.”
Attention Trump supporters: Here are some extremely inconvenient facts concerning the Republican Party’s chances of capturing the White House in 2016 if Donald Trump wins the nomination.
Due to the growing U.S. Hispanic population, now pegged at 17.4 percent, it has been re-calculated by Latino Decisions, a leading Latino political opinion research firm, that for a Republican to be elected president he or she must win at least 47 percent of the national Hispanic vote. This is up from the 40 percent of Hispanic voters won by President George W. Bush in 2004 and considered the benchmark until now.
Considering that President Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012 compared to Romney’s 27 percent, the increase to 47 percent is a monumental task for whoever wins the nomination.
Achieving that number could be even more insurmountable since 65 percent of Hispanics now view Trump negatively according to a Gallup poll released on Monday, August 24. Obviously such a high negative is due to Trump’s statements on immigration reform now officially documented as his policy positions.
Making matters worse, the day after the Gallup poll’s release was when Trump had his dust-up with popular Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. Now there is speculation that a “Jorge Ramos Effect” could increase the turn-out of Hispanic voters in 2016. This would be bad news for the GOP since Hispanic voters in 2012 comprised 10 percent of the general electorate. Furthermore, with 50,000 Hispanics turning age 18 every month for decades to come, that percentage is expected to increase at least one point in 2016 and now, maybe more.
One of the most controversial components of Trump’s plan calls for a massive deportation of millions of illegal immigrants. This is alarming to GOP strategists who worry that if Trump were to win the nomination he could make it more difficult for the party to keep control of the Senate in 2016.
The alarms of strategists are certainly warranted if Trump is the nominee and Jorge Ramos swings into action registering, mobilizing and motivating new and existing Hispanic voters aided by Hispanic celebrities who are calling Trump a racist.
Whether Republicans like it or not, Trump has become the party’s point man on immigration which is analogous to a vegan seizing control of a slaughterhouse.
The Latino Decisions study that calculated the new 47 percent Republican benchmark also included an interactive calculator. Now for fun, political junkies can estimate the size of White, Latino, Black, and Asian voter turn-out in the 2016 election against 2012 exit poll data indicating how the GOP fared with these racial groups.
None of this is good news for Republicans as the white vote is projected to shrink from 72 percent of the 2012 electorate to 70.5 in 2016. Of that 72 percent share, Romney won 59 percent to Obama’s 39. Unfortunately, even winning the white vote by a 20 percent margin no longer ensures a Republican victory. You will learn why when you read further.
Here is one of the concluding paragraphs of the Latino Decisions study:
“Mobilizing and enlarging the Latino electorate is particularly acute for Democrats. Indeed, it is because of the overwhelming support of Latino voters that the Democrats are better positioned in many of the swing states needed to cobble together the 270 Electoral College necessary for the presidency.”
With that thought in mind, here is some supporting data from a 2014 Pew Research Center study entitled, “Mapping the Latino Electorate by State”.
Listed below are six states where the Hispanic share among eligible voters is more than 15 percent. To Pew’s data I have added the state’s Electoral College votes along with Obama’s or Romney’s margin of vote victory in 2012. This additional data is from 270 to win.
New Mexico: Hispanic share 40.1 percent – Obama won 5 electoral votes by 10 percent.
Texas: Hispanic share 27.4 percent – Romney won 38 electoral votes by 16 percent.
California: Hispanic share 26.9 percent – Obama won 55 electoral votes by 23 percent.
Arizona: Hispanic share 20.3 percent — Romney won 11 electoral votes by 14 percent.
Florida: Hispanic share 17.1 percent — Obama won 29 electoral votes by 1 percent.
Nevada: Hispanic share 15.9 percent — Obama won 6 electoral votes by 6 percent.
Now let’s apply this same data to the most likely toss-up states where it becomes obvious that Trump, at the top of the ticket, could seriously handicap the GOP. Given that President Obama won 332 Electoral College votes compared to Romney’s 206, Republicans need to win most or all of the toss-up states listed below to keep the Democrats from “cobbling together” those 270 Electoral College votes.
Florida, mentioned above, is the most important toss-up state. There is no path to a GOP White House victory without the Sunshine State’s 29 Electoral College votes. (If you are young, Google, Gore vs. Bush 2000 for a refresher about Florida’s electoral importance.)
Here are the rest, and look closely at the share of Hispanic voters and the margin of victory.
Pennsylvania: Hispanic share 4.2 percent — Obama won 20 electoral votes by 5 percent.
Ohio: Hispanic share 2.1 percent — Obama won 18 electoral votes by 3 percent.
North Carolina: Hispanic share 3.1 percent — Romney won 15 electoral votes by 2 percent.
Virginia: Hispanic share 4.6 percent – Obama won 13 electoral votes by 4 percent.
Wisconsin: Hispanic share 3.2 percent — Obama won 10 electoral votes by 7 percent.
Colorado: Hispanic share 14.2 percent — Obama won 9 electoral votes by 5 percent.
Iowa: Hispanic share 2.7 — Obama won 6 electoral votes by 6 percent.
It is fact, and not opinion, that to reach the winning 270 number, Republicans must nominate a candidate who attracts Hispanic voters rather than repels them. And currently, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump, is repelling and attacking!
After Trump sparred with Jorge Ramos at last Tuesday’s volatile press conference in Iowa, the New York Times quoted Ramos:
“‘This is personal, and that’s the big difference between Spanish-language and mainstream media, because he’s talking about our parents, our friends, our kids and our babies,’ Mr. Ramos said in a telephone interview.’”
Donald Trump, while trying to “make America great again” is inflaming passions and increasing racial tensions between Hispanics and the older white GOP base by advocating a policy of mass deportations and warring against anchor babies.
Therefore, do not underestimate how the “Ramos effect” might gain steam and make it more likely that, if nominated, Trump anchors Democrats to the White House in 2016.
For all those Trump supporters out there, you are still entitled to your own opinion, but now at least you know some hard electoral facts.