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Republicans overreached on abortion ban and are seeing erosion of Latino support, Democrat pollster says

NBC News logo NBC News 8/18/2022 Suzanne Gamboa
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Republicans, not Democrats, are experiencing greater erosion of Latino voter support, in part because of the overturning of the landmark ruling that made abortion legal, a Democratic pollster said Wednesday.

Fernand Amandi, a principal with Bendixen & Amandi, said in the key states of Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania — which have competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races this year — Latinos favor keeping abortion legal by large margins: by 30 points in Arizona, 40 in Nevada and 41 points in Pennsylvania.

Those numbers are "signs that to me suggest Republicans overreached badly and are alienating the Hispanic vote," Amandi said.

He emphasized, though, that Florida presents a different scenario.

"Florida is a problem a lot of people should be concerned about if they want to see Democrats do well. There is an erosion problem in Florida. We have lost tremendous ground in Florida. However, I do not necessarily see Florida-type reversals in the other states," he said.

Amandi said if the performance of Latino voters with Barack Obama in 2012 — when he got 70% of the Latino vote — is used as the measuring stick, there has been erosion for Democrats at the presidential level.

But he said his recent polling shows that it would be exaggerated to speak of a demise of the Hispanic votes with the Democratic Party.

The polling of Latinos in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania took place in mid-May, before the Supreme Court's June 24 decision overturning Roe v. Wade, but after a draft of the opinion was leaked. Six hundred Latinos were polled in each state and the results have margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Latinos who said the overturning of Roe v. Wade would impact their voting decision in the November midterm elections were more likely to say they'd vote Democrat. Forty-five percent of all Hispanic voters in Arizona said they were more likely to vote Democrat, 40% in Nevada and 45% in Pennsylvania. A much smaller percentage, 15% said they were more motivated to vote Republican and the rest said the ruling would have no impact.

Amandi and Democratic pollster Matt Barreto, who worked for Joe Biden's presidential campaign in 2020, spoke to reporters in a briefing arranged by America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy group.

Their aim was to reshape the narrative that has been repeated since the 2020 elections that Democrats' Hispanic vote share is eroding overall.

"In new data in 2021 and 2022, we have not seen any evidence of a shift, of a realignment on partisanship, on ideology," said Barretto, co-founder of BSP Research and formerly with Latino Decisions polling firm. "It's more that that frustration over the economy might still be lingering and something for Democrats to continue working on and talking about."

Amandi said the polling in the three states showed the Republican brand and Donald Trump are performing worse than Democrats and President Joe Biden in each state where Latinos were polled.

In U.S. Senate races, Democratic candidates lead with Hispanic voters in those states with margins that are more similar to their leads in 2018 than 2010. In gubernatorial races, candidates also hold large leads with Latino voters, the polling data showed.

Amandi said his polling showed tremendous enthusiasm for voting and projected a "record Hispanic turnout in terms of numbers in this election."

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