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Expert to Trump: Sorry Donald, You're Not Number One with Latinos

by Stephen A. Nuño /
Image: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is flanked by his sons Donald Trump Jr. (L) and Eric Trump
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is flanked by his sons Donald Trump Jr. (L) and Eric Trump (R) as he addresses supporters after being declared by the television networks as the winner of the Nevada Repulican caucuses at his caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Feb. 3, 2016. JIM YOUNG / Reuters

In the continuing battle over the Latino vote, Donald Trump claimed that he won over Hispanic voters in Nevada in yesterday’s caucus. The media noted that Latinos who participated in yesterday’s caucus favored Donald Trump over the other candidates with 45 percent of the vote. The next largest share of Latino voters went to Marco Rubio, according to exit polls.

But in a blog post on Wednesday, David Damore, senior analyst for the polling and research firm Latino Decisions and associate professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says that any victory dance over the Latino vote would be premature and unwarranted, given the data. “Sorry Donald,” says Damore, “You are not #1 with Hispanics in Nevada”.

In his victory speech, Trump said, “And you know what I am really happy about because I’ve been saying it for a long time, 46 percent of the Hispanics. 46 percent- number one with Hispanics. I’m really happy about that.”

The controversy over Latino voters began on Saturday when the results from the Democrat caucus were being released and showed that Bernie Sanders won the majority of Latino voters. The Clinton campaign was quick to refute the numbers from the polls and the Sanders campaign responded with a statement supporting the numbers.

The Republican caucus has brought similar doubts about Trump’s numbers among Latinos to light. Two principals for Latino Decisions work for the Hillary Clinton campaign, though David Damore is not associated with the campaign.

In his post, Damore says there are five reasons Donald Trump really didn’t win the Latino vote:

- Assuming the numbers are correct, Trump voters make up only 7 percent of all Latinos, a very small group,

- The small sample size of the poll suggest the numbers are unreliable to begin with,

- Latinos have been moving away from the Republican party since the 2010 election between Sharron Angle and Harry Reid, where immigration played a key role,

- The number of Latino participants in the caucus are too small to make any discernable predictions,

- Past polls on Latinos generally see Trump as a detriment to the Republican brand, with about 80 percent who think his comments on Mexicans and immigrants gave them a less favorable view of the GOP overall.

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