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Trump May Win Elusive Latino Support for the GOP

For decades, Republicans have searched in vain for the right combination of platform and messaging to win over the burgeoning Hispanic population of America. Recent polling and policy successes suggest that President Trump may have hit upon it. Perhaps paradoxically, the man whom corporate media pillories as a bigot could convince the majority of Hispanics to vote for the GOP in 2020.

My network, CNN, released a poll last week of California voters. The survey revealed a remarkable level of support for the president from minority voters in the deeply Democratic state. In a head-to-head matchup with present front-runner Joe Biden, Donald Trump earns 32% support from non-white Californians. His support vs. Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders also registers percentages in the low 30s.

If Trump can garner a third of the minority vote in a state that provided the entirety of Hillary Clinton’s popular vote surplus in 2016, then on a national basis the Democratic Party faces a daunting, and perhaps even impossible, uphill climb to unseat the president. In fact, national polling displays pronounced support for this president among Hispanics. For example, The Hill published a poll in September showing his Hispanic approval at 37%. Then a November Emerson  poll found similar 38% Latino approval. In a related surprise, that same Emerson survey rocked the political world with a 34% approval rating for the president among black voters.

The mainstream media barely acknowledges this steady groundswell of support, which so starkly contradicts its preferred narrative. But while biased journalists and partisan commentators spread lies about Charlottesville and pretend that border control is racist, our entrepreneur-in-chief got to work creating the conditions for faster, broader prosperity in our land, particularly for economically lagging minorities. When I met him in the Oval Office shortly after he assumed office, the first question President Trump asked me was, “Steve, what can we do to help Hispanic Americans?” Through regulatory rollback, tax relief, and smarter trade deals, his economic doctrine vaulted Hispanic wages above the pace of white incomes nationally. Even the Washington Post reported in September that of the 5.2 million new jobs created since Trump’s election, an astounding 4.5 million of them went to minorities.

A large measure of this success flows from revitalized small business. Recently, CNBC detailed the surge in optimism among small business owners, who reported a record 60% approval rating of the president. Hispanics are the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America. As such, small business gains particularly empower Latino communities. Two years ago in the Wall Street Journal, I co-authored an op-ed titled “Hispanic Entrepreneurs Need Tax Reform” with Javier Palomarez, a Democrat who was then president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We projected that pro-growth reforms “could create a new wave of Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses.” Our optimism has proven prescient, as success now abounds for Latinos. For example, Hispanics constituted two-thirds of all new homeowners last year, even though they make up just one-fifth of the U.S. population.

As 2019 winds to a close, I see three policy highlights to solidify and expand the nascent Trump-Hispanic political alliance.

Stay Tough on the Border and Illegal Migration. Biased media badly distort the views of Hispanic citizens regarding immigration lawlessness. We are not soft on border issues, probably because our communities suffer the worst consequences of porous borders. For example, Hispanic citizens face unfair, illegal competition in labor markets and the very real dangers posed by some illegal migrants with violent propensities. So-called sanctuary cities defy common sense, and typically the victims of dangerous illegals and transnational gangs are Hispanic Americans. Perhaps for these reasons, a YouTube/Economist poll detailed that only 20% of Hispanics support “catch and release” of families crossing our borders illegally.

Maintain Pressure on China. With the soon-to-be confirmed USMCA with our neighbor countries, America’s hand at the global “poker table” of trade negotiations strengthens. Reorienting the global supply chain away from China and back to the Americas supports on-shoring and brings tangible new prosperity to working-class Latinos. The Chinese Communist Party has successfully exploited its own workers with poor pay and miserable conditions, laying waste to American manufacturing in the process with the acquiescence of big-business globalists in U.S. corridors of power. Now, a newly assertive America demands fairness and reciprocity with China in trade, which benefits blue-collar laborers in the heartland, many of whom are Hispanic.

Social-Issues Conservatism. As the Democratic Party lurches left on social issues, the largely Catholic and Evangelical Hispanic community finds itself orphaned by the radicals. For example, a 2018 Pew Research Center poll found that while 61% of whites believe that abortion should be legal in most/all circumstances, only 44% of Hispanics concur. Trump’s solid pro-life record and plethora of conservative judicial appointees should further attract pro-family, pro-life Latinos.

The Democratic Party’s dependency on a preponderance of minority voters creates an opening for Trump, especially as the party pursues ever-more radical policies at the expense of practical solutions for a more prosperous and safe America. Accordingly, many Americans of color increasingly recognize they have been taken for granted by Democrats. In contrast, Donald Trump is reshaping the Republican Party into a workers’ movement, and one that produces tangible successes for laborers, as reflected in last month’s astonishing jobs report. Hispanics, perhaps more than any other group, understand that it is “Morning in America.” Those same strivers may well deliver the long-sought political Holy Grail of crossover Hispanics voting Republican and delivering an electoral majority to President Trump in 2020.

Steve Cortes is a contributor to RealClearPolitics and a CNN  political commentator. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.