Democrats hoped Latinos would turn GOP states ‘purple.’ That may not be the case anymore.

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USA Today

WASHINGTON – For many years, Democrats have hoped that Latino voters could be the key to turning traditionally “red” states to “purple.”

Now, it’s unclear whether that will be the case.

New polls ahead of the midterm elections show Latino support for Democrats is waning – although the majority of that voting bloc still supports the party. Republicans are also making some inroads with Latino voters in states like Texas and Nevada, where Democrats are locked in tight congressional and statewide elections.

Some traditionally Democratic areas of more battleground states – like Miami-Dade County in Florida – are also seeing a shift. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading against his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist with Hispanic voters in southeastern Florida by 51% to 44%, according to a Telemundo/LX News poll published last week. Southeastern Florida includes Miami-Dade, the most populous majority-Latino county in the U.S. as of 2020.

In recent years, Latino voters helped decide elections in states like Arizona, where the bloc helped elect Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, in the 2018 midterms and 2020 special election, respectively. President Joe Biden also won the state in 2020, a state that former President Donald Trump won four years before. 

But Kelly, who is up for reelection this year, is locked in a tight race, and it’s yet to be seen whether Latino voters will show out to reelect the Democratic senator.

“Based on the most recent polling, it looks as though Democrats are not going to capture the same kind of hefty vote share of Latinos that they’ve been used to in the last few presidential election cycles,” said Gabriel Sanchez, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico. 

By Rebecca Morin

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