- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2022

This week former President Donald J. Trump kicked off Hispanic American Heritage Month as a keynote speaker at the Hispanic American Leadership Conference in Miami, an event organized by the America First Policy Institute and Bienvenido, a Latino pro-liberty group. Mr. Trump‘s comments, which received rousing cheers from an audience, addressed the Latino shift to the right as Hispanic Americans continue to defect from the Democratic Party and tilt more Republican.

“We’re here this afternoon to celebrate one the fastest-growing groups in the entire country — proud Hispanic conservatives,” Mr. Trump said. “The media and the Washington establishment, they never saw it coming. You never saw it coming, did you, CNN? But today, Hispanic Americans are joining our movement by the millions and millions. Hispanics are rallying to our cause for a simple reason — because they love America, and you believe in America and you know the time has come to stand out and defend America and everything it stands for.”

Mr. Trump’s comments could not have been more apropos in the city of Miami. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried the Hispanic American community in Miami-Dade County by a whopping 30 points, but after four years of the Trump presidency, that number took a catastrophic tumble as 2020 candidate Joe Biden carried the area by only 7 points — a downturn of 23 points.

While some mainstream media outlets deny the Latino shift to the right, arguing that the majority of Hispanic Americans still support Democrats, that assertion is a misleading oversimplification as several polls prove an exodus from the left is underway. A recent poll from NBC News and Telemundo found that while 54% of Hispanic American voters still want Democrats to retain control of Congress versus 33% who want Republicans in charge, that gap shrunk 5 percentage points in the last year since October, and is 13 points less than it was in November 2018. It was 17 points less than it was in October 2016, and 21 points less than it was in October 2012. 

Simply put, the Latino shift to the right is real, and it’s expanding every election cycle. 

“While Latinos continue to lean toward the Democratic Party and prefer Democratic control of Congress, Republicans have a higher share of the vote than we’ve measured previously,” one of the pollsters, Aileen Cardona-Arroyo, told NBC.

While the NBC poll also says that 51% of Hispanic Americans approve of President Biden’s performance, a July Quinnipiac poll places that number at a dismal 19% with 70% saying they disapprove, and 57% saying they strongly disapprove. 

The reasons for this dramatic shift transcend Latino disapproval of the way Democrats have governed. It is because their political priorities are now aligned with Republican priorities and values. In September, a tracking poll released by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO) revealed that inflation and the rising cost of living are the primary areas of Latino concern. 

And why wouldn’t they be? As Mr. Trump rightfully pointed out, Hispanic Americans have a lot invested in the United States because they’ve been an integral part of the nation it has become. 

“Generations of Hispanic citizens have helped built forge our communities, found our churches, build our small businesses, police our streets, teach our children, protect our borders, serve in our military and lift up our nation in a million different ways,” Mr. Trump said. “There is no industry that Hispanic Americans have not made stronger and better. … There’s no city Hispanics have not made better, and there’s no part of America that has not been uplifted by Hispanic Americans and not made better.”

Other issues Latinos rank as priorities are abortion, rising crime and immigration. Although a June Axios-Ipsos poll found that more than half of second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans believe abortion should be legal, 41% of first-generation Latinos disagree. And while only 1 in 5 Hispanic Americans actually own a firearm, the post-pandemic period saw an incredible 49% spike in Latino gun purchases, according to a Nov. 4, 2021, ABC News report. UNIDOS U.S. polls from September showed that Latinos in the key battleground states of Arizona and Florida consider violent crime their No. 2 issue.

No one understands the dangers of leftism and how it can destroy once-flourishing nations such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela like Latinos. Latinos from otherwise free market countries now shifting to the left such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru have similar concerns.

We agree with Mr. Trump. The Latino shift to the right is real — and with the help of patriotic Hispanic Americans, we will indeed get our country back. 

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