With John Kasich of Ohio dropping out of the GOP nomination race, Latino Republicans are now faced with two choices; to vote or not to vote for Donald Trump. For Hispanic Republican leaders, it also involves making the decision to publicly support the controversial presidential candidate even though they may have vocally opposed him in the past.
Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada, one of two state governors of Hispanic heritage, announced that he would support Donald Trump come November, though he had made it clear in the past that he was far from a Trump fan.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner last December when the party was flush with candidates vying to represent the party on the national ticket, Sandoval warned the GOP about the damage Donald Trump would do in the party’s efforts in attracting Latino voters. “I'll put it this way: I disagree with him and I have said that publicly,” said Sandoval. “It is not good for the Hispanic community and they are not reacting well to it.”
Sandoval supported Marco Rubio and more recently supported John Kasich as the more moderate candidate over the conservative Ted Cruz. But he wrote in a statement posted on Facebook that voting for the Democratic nominee was “simply not an option”.
In an interview with Today, Mark Halperin, the managing editor of Bloomberg politics, discussed the path to the White House and said that Donald Trump "has to do better" with Latino voters if he is to have any shot at winning the Presidency. But recent polls show Trump has a dismal approval rating among Latinos, with one poll showing he is poised to get the lowest vote ever among Hispanics.
Sandoval's public endorsement of Trump is not shared by some prominent Latino leaders who recently told NBC's Suzanna Gamboa that they would not be voting for him. Though they would not endorse a Democratic candidate, some said they would focus on down ballot state and congressional races.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the nation's other Hispanic governor who like Sandoval has been critical of Trump in the past, has not answered whether she will support the presumptive Republican nominee.
Sandoval's decision to support Trump was swiftly criticized by prominent Nevada journalist Jon Ralston of Ralston Reports admonishing the decision in a series of tweets.