Why Cruz and Trump are a liability for GOP in the Golden State among Latinos

header-hoover-institution-fellows1-1By Alex Gonzalez

A new poll in California shows that, while Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are leading the Republican primary race for president, Latino voters in the state have a very low opinion of both presidential candidates. And this could have detrimental effects in local state races.

Based on the Field Research Corporation  poll released on Tuesday, I made these charts to show the results. In the first chart,  Ted Cruz is leading with 25%, followed by Trump with 23, Rubio at 13%, and Ben Carson at 9%. Jeb Bush is at 4%New CA 2

In the second chart, Cruz favorability among Republican is 69% while Trump gets only 51% and Rubio 61%.

New CA 1

But this trend quickly changes among Latino voters. And this Image ratings of the leading GOP candidates is a very tricky issue for the state GOP because it shows that the “white” base still supporting two candidates that are very unpopular among Latinos in the state.

New CA 3 For example, the chart above shows that among the overall California registered voter population, while 69% of Republican registered voters see Cruz favorably – and 38% of  all “whites” non-Hispanics – among Latinos, only 19% see Cruz favorably. And it gets even worse with Trump. 85% of Latinos in California see Trump unfavorably while only 15% see him favorably while 51% see Cruz favorably.

In a state where Latinos are about 25% share of the total registered voters, a Trump or Cruz nomination means it will have greater impact in local races with Republicans in the ballots in congressional and state districts with large Latino populations.

12065849_10153809717067958_5315045439446053938_nAnd here is why the relation between the Republican Party and and unfavorable candidates could a bad combination . Earlier poll in November by LA Times/USC show that only 15% of the Latinos in the state still identify as Republicans. If we couple that 15% Latinos that consider themselves Republicans with the dismal 19% favorability for Cruz or 10% favorability for Trump among Latinos, a GOP nomination for  Trump tarnish the image of the GOP even further in the state.

In a state where the GOP is trying to walk a middle ground on immigration, education, and economic growth – away from social issues – to woo Latinos, independents, and millennials, Trump or Cruz incendiary rhetoric will be major setback for the party.

Undoubtedly, the state will be better off with “establishment” candidate like Rubio who gets higher favorability, or Bush or Christie that can help with local state races since both have a record of been popular governors among Latino voters.

In swing state where Obama won by 5 points, this low favorability for any GOP candidate with Latino voters become more important because Latinos have between 15% to 21% of the makeup of electorate in Colorado Nevada, and Florida.


Alex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote.comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or  @AlexGonzTXCA

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