Donald Trump kicked off his Presidential campaign with a memorable announcement speech where he took a strong stand against illegal immigration.
From that point on, pundits claimed his bid was doomed because he alienated Latino voters.
But when all the votes were counted, Donald Trump shocked everyone with how he performed with the Hispanic vote.
In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote.
The GOP establishment commissioned an autopsy of the campaign and pinned Romney’s defeat on his performance with Latino voters.
The only policy recommendation contained in the document was the insistence that the Republican Party back amnesty.
As early voting began in the 2016 campaign, the media reported a “Hispanic surge” at the polls.
They claimed Latinos were voting in record numbers and would swamp Trump at the polls in the swing-states of Florida and Nevada, and maybe even in safe red states like Arizona and Texas.
But Trump stunned the so-called “experts” when the exit polls showed he won 29 percent of the Hispanic vote, bettering Romney’s total from 2012.
After the election, some Democrat leaning Hispanic groups tried to claim the exit polls were wrong and Trump had really won only 19 percent of the Latino vote.
However, an analysis conducted by the website fivethirtyeight.com showed Trump – in fact – did top Romney’s Latino vote total:
“My analysis of the available evidence, however, suggests that Segura and Barreto are taking their argument too far. While Clinton may have done better than the exit polls suggest, a detailed look at pre-election polls and actual election results from counties with large Latino populations suggests that Trump probably did no worse than Romney among Latinos, and probably did better. Different sources tell somewhat different stories, but the weight of the evidence does not back up the conclusions of Latino Decisions, particularly the actual election results from many of the country’s most heavily Latino areas, where Clinton underperformed Obama. Some of our best evidence that Latino Decisions’ analysis is flawed comes from the very counties that the organization chose to highlight in a post-election presentation arguing that Clinton performed well among Latinos…
…The county-level data also points to a larger issue: Clinton did significantly worse than Obama overall, both nationally and in most individual counties. That means that to have won Latinos by a larger margin than Obama — and especially to have won by 9 points more, as Latino Decisions’ data implies — Clinton would have to be finding much more support among that group than Obama did even as evidence suggests she got less support from every other racial and ethnic demographic. County-level election results suggest Clinton lost less ground among Latinos than among other demographic groups, especially non-Hispanic whites, but she still seems to have lost ground, not gained it.
Voting results don’t prove that Clinton did worse than Obama among Latinos, or that Trump did better than Romney. But the results do suggest that if nearly 80 percent of Latinos voted for Clinton, as Latino Decisions argues, then Latino turnout must have been down in many counties, or Clinton must have done much worse than Obama among non-Latinos in those counties. Otherwise, the overwhelming pro-Clinton Latino vote would have swung heavily Latino counties more dramatically toward Clinton. The evidence, then, suggests that Clinton fell short among Latinos in one of two ways: Either she didn’t win as large a share of them as Obama, or she didn’t convince as many of them to turn out to vote. Since both the exit polls and Latino Decisions agree that turnout among Latinos was up, the latter explanation doesn’t seem likely.”
Trump outperformed Romney among Latino voters – despite centering his campaign on the promise to build a wall along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it – as well as pledging not to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Pundits and establishment Republicans have long claimed that unless a candidate backs amnesty, they have no hope of winning the Latino vote.
Trump has proven that to be false.