Republicans have made rapid gains among a crucial voting demographic that has long favored Democrats
The nation’s large and diverse group of Hispanic voters is showing signs of dividing its support between Democrats and Republicans more evenly than in recent elections, a new Wall Street Journal poll finds, a troubling development for the Democratic Party, which has long counted on outsize Hispanic support.
One year after giving Democratic House candidates more than 60% of their vote, according to polls at the time, the Journal survey found that Hispanic voters are evenly split in their choice for Congress. Asked which party they would back if the election were today, 37% of Hispanic voters said they would support the Republican congressional candidate and 37% said they would favor the Democrat, with 22% undecided.
Hispanic voters were also evenly divided when asked about a hypothetical rematch in 2024 of the last presidential contenders , with 44% saying they would back President Biden and 43% supporting former President Donald Trump . In 2020, Mr. Biden won 63% support among Hispanic voters , nearly 30 points more than Mr. Trump, according to AP VoteCast, a large survey of the presidential electorate.
Hispanic voters account for about 1 in 8 eligible voters and are one of the fastest-growing groups in the electorate, factors that compound Democratic fears about any deterioration in support.
“Latinos are more and more becoming swing voters.…They’re a swing vote that we’re going to have to fight for,’’ said Democratic pollster John Anzalone, whose company conducted The Wall Street Journal Poll along with the firm of Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio.
Messrs. Anzalone and Fabrizio said the poll showed that economic issues were the main concern among Hispanic voters, drawing Hispanic men, in particular, toward the GOP.
Hispanic voters in the survey ranked economic issues as the priority for Mr. Biden and Congress to address. Hispanic men said Republicans had the better economic policy, by a margin of 17 points. Hispanic women, by contrast, said Democrats had better economic plans, by a 10-point margin.
A majority of Hispanic men said they would like to return to the policies that Mr. Trump pursued as president, while a majority of Hispanic women said they would rather stick with Mr. Biden’s policies.
“You see in this poll that there’s a group of Hispanic men who were without a doubt enticed by Trump and have become more Republican. We have more work to do on that,’’ said Mr. Anzalone, referring to Democratic candidates and their allies.
Mr. Fabrizio said: “This says to me that the economy matters, particularly to Hispanic men. The economy and economic factors are driving them.”
The survey is the first under a new Wall Street Journal Poll that will explore the forces driving American politics and changes in society. The firms of Messrs. Fabrizio and Anzalone will work together on surveys on the political landscape.
The Journal survey included 1,500 registered voters, including 165 Hispanic voters. The margin of error for the Hispanic sample was plus or minus 7.6 percentage points.
POLL METHODOLOGY NOTE
- The Wall Street Journal Poll was conducted by the firms ALG Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, who surveyed 1,500 respondents, drawn from a list of known, registered voters, from Nov. 16-22. Half the respondents were interviewed on their cell phones. One quarter were reached by text on their cell phones and completed an internet survey. One quarter of respondents were interviewed by landline phone. The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
By Aaron Zitner