Poll Finds GOP on Even Playing Field
with Democrats in Key Hispanic Areas
Capitol Inside August 12, 2022
A poll that the Texas Latino Conservatives released on Friday shows a seismic demographic shift under way here - with Republicans essentially pulling even with Democrats in the battle for the Hispanic vote in the suburbs while moving within striking distance of wins in congressional races in three districts on the Mexican border that have blue up to now.
The TLC's Texas Hispanic Realignment Survey of 1,200 Hispanic voters in June found that the GOP with a 2-point lead on the Democrats in partisan identification on average in key regions where they could swing elections either way this fall - South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, the suburbs in and around the largest cities and exurban areas on their outer edges.
The poll found the two major parties tied on a generic congressional ballot in the three target areas at 43 percent support apiece. The survey shows Democrats up by 3 points in the Hispanic vote chase on a generic ballot in average in South Texas where three U.S. House seats are in play in districts that are anchored on the south by the Rio Grande. The TLC pollsters say that could be sufficient for the GOP to flip the three seats in question when all of the voters are calculated together.
The newest member of the Texas delegation to Congress - Republican U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores of Harlingen - is attempting to duplicate a special election victory in June in a bout with Democratic U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen in the only general election pairing here featuring two incumbents on the ballot in November. Gonzales is the favorite despite the GOP's optimism on Flores' ability to successfully defend the Congressional District 34 seat in a strip of South Texas where Democratic President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by almost 16 points in 2020.
The most competitive federal race on paper in Texas pits Democrat Michelle Vallejo of Mission against Republican Monica De La Cruz of Edinburg in a fight for the Congressional District 15 seat that Gonzales is giving up for a re-election bid in a safer district that borders his current turf. Trump defeated Biden by almost 3 points in the present version of CD 15. But Biden edged Trump by 7 points in Congressional District 28 where Republicans are high on nominee Cassy Garcia in a bid to oust veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo at the polls this fall.
Conducted by a trio of prominent consultants in Patrick Ruffini, Leslie Sanchez and Lance Tarrance Jr., the Texas Latino Conservatives survey constructed its model on data from the 2020 election and more current polling of Hispanic voters in the targeted battlefields. The poll doesn't take into account that Democrat Beto O'Rourke trounced U.S. Senator Ted Cruz by 20 points on average in all three of the contests for Congress that the GOP is targeting in Texas this fall.
The TLC poll found that 61 percent of the Hispanics in the selected regions were unhappy with the Democratic Party's direction due in significant parts to welfare handouts, socialism and a concentration on race and gender issues. Twenty-eight percent of the Hispanics are bothered by the Democratic Party's leanings but have yet to reclassify themselves as Republicans.
The poll found that 57 percent of the Texas Hispanics disapprove of Biden's performance as president compared to 40 percent who are satisfied. Fifty-three percent of the Hispanic voters in the sample pin the blame for inflation and prices at the pump on Biden.
"Conservative Hispanic values translate to movement towards Republicans," the pollsters said in the analysis. "In a break from a time when solid majorities of Texas Hispanics voted Democrat, Hispanics now believe that Republicans are the party of their values and their priorities."
more to come ...
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