Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) appears to be noticing the shift among Latino voters towards the Republican Party, and is now discussing what Democrats may have done to impact that shift.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on the “Pod Save America” podcast and discussed the issue.
“I can at least say with Latino voters, we’ve never tried as a party. The Democratic Party has not tried in terms of Latino electorates,” she said.
“We really need to step up both in our efforts on campaign, but also in our efforts in governance,” she noted.
She pointed out that immigration legislation has not resulted in any serious change, even though, as The Hill pointed out, immigration is typically not as important to Hispanic voters as other issues.
“And I mean, where’s our DREAM Act? Where is our immigration reform?” asked Ocasio-Cortez. “And even recently with President Biden’s marijuana executive order, I very much applaud that he went there, but he exempted people who were convicted if they were convicted while they were undocumented.”
“We’re looking at the overwhelming majority of people who have been convicted that would have benefitted from that pardon have status, they have status complications,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“It’s tough because on the other side they have no qualms. They have no qualms about having an anti-immigrant message,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, adding, “But I think we get scared of that and that segmentation prevents a clear message and that lack of clarity makes it hard to win people over.”
Democrats’ draw with Latino voters has gone down by half over the past ten years, according to an NBC News/Telemundo poll from earlier this month.
While 54% of Latino voters in the poll said they’d rather see Democrats leading Congress, and 33% chose Republicans, the difference has dramatically diminished since 2012. This year, the separation between the two answers is 21 points, but in 2012, it was 42 points.
A recent Axios-Ipsos Latino poll with Noticias Telemundo showed that 33% of Hispanic Americans said they will vote for a Democrat in the midterm elections, while 18% said they would vote for a Republican. However, 23% have said they do not know how they will vote, which could translate to more bad news for Democrats come Election Day.
Axios also reported that Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis has grown in popularity among Hispanic Floridians, with his support now rising to 51% from 39% last December. Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom, on the other hand, has seen his favorability drop among Latino Californians, which is currently at 55% and was at 59% last December.