Republicans and Democrats are working to enhance outreach efforts as one important demographic — the Hispanic vote in America — comes into focus ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.
In recent years, Hispanics and members of Latino communities across America have largely voted Democrat, but it appears a shift in support from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party could be occurring as several begin distancing themselves from President Biden and his party’s policies.
A recent report by Axios also said Democrats are “statistically tied” with Republicans in congressional ballots when it comes to the Hispanic vote.
To better understand how the Hispanic vote will impact the upcoming midterm elections, and whether Democrats can win back the Hispanic vote in November, Fox News Digital contacted political experts from both sides of the aisle to ask why they believe Hispanics and working-class voters may be shifting toward the Republican Party.
A resident walks past a “vote here” sign outside a polling location at the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 27, 2018. (Caitlin O’Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Kevin Walling, Democratic campaign strategist and former Biden campaign surrogate:
“Hispanics are not a monolithic group in American politics, and strategists of all stripes do a real disservice if they think that way. Similarly, working-class voters represent an increasingly diverse collection of individuals that, along with Hispanic Americans, are increasingly concerned about the state of the economy, inflation and health care access.
“Americans are hurting right now at the gas pump and grocery store and see Washington unable to tackle these issues, laying the blame at the feet of President Biden and Democrats, despite the slimmest of majorities. Over the next hundred days or so, Team Blue needs to focus on these economic concerns, highlighting tangible solutions that Democrats have passed and the Biden administration has pursued.
“In the coming days and weeks, Democrats will also shore up health care subsidies and pass prescription drug reform saving average Americans thousands of dollars each year — all without GOP support. Getting the word out about what Democrats are fighting for will be critical to winning both Hispanics and working-class voters in November.”
Kevin Walling, Democratic campaign strategist and former Biden campaign surrogate. (Kevin Walling)
Steve Cortes, former adviser to President Trump and a member of Trump’s White House Commission on Hispanic Prosperity:
“Hispanics rally to the America First agenda. Our communities embrace an agenda of cultural conservatism combined with populist economic nationalism.
“Contrary to the media narrative, Hispanics overwhelmingly support strong borders and American sovereignty. The Customs and Border Patrol is the most Hispanic agency of the federal government, and the ‘bad hombres’ of CBP and ICE guard America’s front door to defend all citizens of every ethnicity and color.
“Hispanics form the most entrepreneurial demographic in America, and Biden’s inflation crushes small business. This unfortunate economic reality explains the recent Quinnipiac University poll showing a dismal 19% approval rate for Biden among Hispanics, the lowest of any group surveyed.”
Former Trump advisor Steve Cortes speaks at an election-night party for Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey June 28, 2022, in Effingham, Ill. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)
Jose Aristimuño, former deputy press secretary for the DNC:
“I think it’s too early to go with the notion that Hispanics and working-class voters are shifting to the Republican Party. The data is simply too premature.
“When you look at data, for example, related to the abortion issue and gun control, both issues being in the minds of voters come November, Democrats continue to hold the advantage over these issues. However, Democrats do need to be clear that the economy, controlling inflation and bringing down gas prices continues to be their No. 1 priority. And the data is there to show that gas prices are, in fact, starting to come down, and job creation has been steadily rising since Biden took office.
“There’s a disconnect at times and a misconception that social issues come before economic issues for Democrats. If they allow that sort of misconception to stick, especially during challenging economic times, it could be problematic for them in November.”
Jose Aristimuño, former deputy press secretary for the DNC (Jose Aristimuño)
Mercedes Schlapp, senior fellow for CPAC and former White House senior adviser for strategic communications in the Trump administration:
“Last week, I was in Tel Aviv for CPAC Israel and learned one big lesson from our Israeli friends: Coalitions matter to win an election. We are entering the final months of the midterm elections in America, and Democratic and Republican coalitions are realigning. Republicans are benefiting from the Democrats’ focus on unpopular cultural and economic messages, including climate change, transgenderism and extreme abortion agendas that do not resonate with multi-ethnic, working-class voters.
“Democrats should stop using AOC as their spokesperson, reject the progressive agenda and retire Nancy Pelosi, an elitist who fails to connect to everyday Americans.
“Voters are sensing weakness from the Democrats, who are more concerned with appeasing upscale voters than fixing the real problems facing Hispanics and other working-class Americans.
“President Trump understood the need for commonsense policies of economic prosperity, energy independence and safe communities. Republicans are carrying the Trump message into their districts and aggressively campaigning in Hispanic and blue-collar communities to talk about America-first policies, while the Democrats are fumbling to articulate a clear message of American prosperity and security.”
Mercedes Schlapp speaks to a crowd during the Save America Tour at The Bowl at Sugar Hill Jan. 3, 2021, in Sugar Hill, Ga. (David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
Chuck Rocha, senior adviser for the 2020 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign:
“One must understand that Latinos are a younger, newer electorate. The Republican Party previously has not competed for this vote. I’ve been doing this for 32 years and, up until eight years ago, they would just walk past the Latino neighborhood and not bother advertising in Spanish.
“Now you have Republicans actively competing for that vote through Spanish language advertising, the LIBRE initiative and even folks like Trump courting sectors such as the Cuban community. Thus, we’re starting to see a small shift towards the Republicans. This exposes the weakness in the Democrats’ outreach, which mistakenly has treated Latinos as a GOTV universe for many years.
“Democrats must show up to compete and start their persuasion earlier. They must equalize this outreach as much as they do when talking to white, persuadable voters. Thus, they must start this outreach earlier. This includes showing up and displaying exactly what you’ve done to make Latino and working-class lives better. Democrats have a record of this, such as passing infrastructure bills, reopening the economy, vaccines in arms and money in the bank; however, Republicans have obstructed all of this.
“Currently, there are no majority Latino-owned media or mail firms advising top Democrats at the congressional level. Democrats will never go back to winning the Latino vote at previously high percentages as the universe of Latinos continuously grows. If there are no Latinos at the table making strategic decisions for the party, as we say, ‘You may be on the menu.’”
Chuck Rocha, senior adviser for the 2020 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign (Chuck Rocha)
Giancarlo Sopo, leader of Hispanic advertising and rapid response effort for former President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign:
“There are demographic, cultural and economic forces driving this shift. It’s difficult to overstate the disconnect between the priorities of the elite progressive class in Washington, cultural institutions and many corporations and those of American workers, including Hispanic families. Demographically, the Democrats have become a party comprised primarily of very poor people and wealthy LuluLemon liberals whose religion is preaching radicalism from their gated communities.
“Meanwhile, it’s useful to think of Hispanics as being similar to white working-class voters. The average Hispanic household earns about $50,000 per year, has center-right cultural values, and many Latinos have worked their way out of poverty within the last 10 years. Our communities are concerned with rising gas prices, soaring food costs. And we don’t want children indoctrinated in school.
“The Democrats are failing to persuade Hispanics, so they’re resorting to raw political power and smears to shame conservative Latinos into submission. We just learned in South Texas that a Democrat congressman literally hired a cyber sicario to mock Congresswoman Mayra Flores’s Mexican heritage and write the most vile and sexually degrading filth about her.
“It’s worth noting that the Republicans are also making very smart investments in outreach, staff, community centers and candidate recruitment that will strengthen our performance with Hispanics.”
The comments provided to Fox News Digital in this article are part of a new weekend series in which strategists from across the political spectrum are asked the same few questions related to political hot topics and are provided an opportunity to offer their perspective.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.
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