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The Pulse of America: DeSantis Gains With Florida Latinos

Every week, El American will make a quick analysis of the polls that give the most interesting data on the state of American public opinion. In this first edition of “The Pulse of America,” we are going to check the latest Axios-Ipsos survey of the Latino electorate, which has some great news for the governor of Florida Ron De Santis, while an overall warning to the GOP’s chances with Latinos.

The Ipsos-Axios poll shows that more Hispanics view Florida governor Ron DeSantis than those who view him unfavorably, an auspicious sign for the republican hopes to keep the governor’s mansion this November. However, the GOP should not sleep on its laurels as the survey shows that Latinos, albeit not the biggest fans of Biden, are pretty much undecided over which party to support this November.

The survey also shows that the Democratic Party still has a better overall image within the community than the GOP, and that a substantial majority of Hispanics think the United States is a country of opportunities. Hispanics also have an overall positive view of America, and think the “American Dream” is something they can achieve.

Hispanics will be crucial in the outcome of the November midterms (EFE)

The Pulse of America: DeSantis significantly improved his numbers among Latino Hispanics

The governor of the Sunshine State, who has been a rising star within the Republican Party and has been heavily criticized by Democrats, made significant gains within the Latino population. The poll showed that 46% of Florida Latinos have a favorable view of the governor, while only 37% have a negative opinion of DeSantis, while 12% don’t have a formed view of the governor.

This number represents an important swing in favor of the Governor from December 2021, the last time Ipsos had conducted the poll. Back then, only 39% of those surveyed had a positive view of DeSantis, making it a seven-point blow towards the governor in three months. Not only are more Latinos having good opinions on DeSantis, but they are also becoming less hostile to him, as the percentage of Hispanics who viewed him unfavorably went down from 41% to 37% between both polls.  

If the Ipsos poll is accurate, then it is a great sign for DeSantis’ chances for reelection. Back in 2018 when he was first elected, the Republican governor lost the Latino-heavy county of Miami-Dade by a 59.9%-39% margin and still managed to narrowly win the election. If the share of Latino support towards DeSantis is up to almost half of the electorate, then the campaign would have a much easier path to victory when November comes.

Nikki Fried, Ron DeSantis, dictador comunista, autocráta comunista
Gov. DeSantis numbers with the Florida Latino community have improved considerably since December 2021 (EFE)

Latinos have a positive view of America

Another key insight from the survey is that a significant majority of Hispanics have an overall positive opinion of America. The survey shows that 68% of Hispanics believe that “the United States has opportunities for all,” 61% think they “can live the American Dream,” and 57% of the respondents agree with the statement that “the United States makes me feel like I belong here.”

Similarly, an almost unanimous majority of Hispanics (94%) think that “a strong work ethic and working hard” and the same share of respondents thought that having a strong family is crucial to succeeding in the United States. In contrast, only 44% thought that having rich parents was very important to have a successful life in the country.

Latinos are not a safe bet for Democrats or Republicans

One of the most crucial data points of the Ipsos poll is that while the Democratic Party does not have, by any means, a strong grip on the Latino electorate, the Republican Party has a lot of work to do if it wants to turn the Hispanic voting bloc in their favor. The survey shows that, in a time of deep polarization and profound partisan loyalties, Latinos appear to be one of the most independent constituencies in America.

Republicans have had a couple of good years with the Latino vote, but polls show they still have a lot of work to do (Image: flicker)

According to the poll, only 30% of Hispanics will vote for the Democratic candidate in this year’s midterms, and only 17% of Latinos said they will cast their ballots for the GOP candidate. In fact, a plurality of Latinos (46%) said that they were either not sure who to support in the upcoming elections (28%) or that they would not vote (18%) in the midterms.

The survey also highlights that the Democratic Party still has a more positive view of the GOP among Hispanics, although Latinos do not particularly like either party. For example, the survey shows that only 8% of respondents think the GOP cares about Latinos, while 33% think Democrats care about Hispanics.

These numbers show that, despite the bullish and positive results the GOP has obtained in the Latino community in the last couple of years, the Hispanic electorate is still not very convinced to vote for the Republicans.

Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.

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