According to the Associated Press’ VoteCast, GOP governor-elect Glenn Youngkin won the Latino vote by about a dozen points, 55-43 percent over Terry McAuliffe. If true, this would be a political earthquake.
But according to the Edison Research exit polls, McAuliffe clobbered Youngkin by 66-32 percent. The Edison exit polls are widely used in broadcast TV and are generally quoted as the numbers of record.
But the reason for the discrepancy goes to the heart of the problem for pollsters; they are getting low response rates from voters of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
“Today, polling in general has a real problem: We’re getting low response rates across the board, and that’s not limited to Hispanic voters, but it’s even harder when you poll smaller groups,” said Eduardo Gamarra, who polls Latino voters in the United States and throughout Latin America.
“The fact is, we probably don’t know who won the Hispanic vote or by how much on Tuesday,” Gamarra, who is also a professor of Latin American studies at Florida International University in Miami, said. “But I can tell you from my research that what we have been seeing is a real message for the Democrats, who are not getting behind issues that really speak to Latinos. It’s a reason we’re seeing the shift.”
About the only thing that’s certain is that Republicans are gaining—and they’re doing it at the expense of the Democrats.
Pollsters say that the sample size for Latinos just isn’t large enough to be accurate. The Edison exit poll showed just 5 percent of the electorate in Virginia were Hispanic—almost certainly an undercount, given the large Hispanic vote in the DC suburbs and in Roanoke and Norfolk.
Democrats are in denial about the shifting Latino vote.
“The so-called exit poll that Fox News is promoting has a clear Election Day bias and way too large of a Republican sample,” said Matt Barreto, president of BSP Research and long-time Democratic pollster who has published numerous academic articles on exit poll methodology. (Fox News and the Associated Press are partners in the survey, which the AP calls “VoteCast” and Fox calls their “Voter Analysis.”) “The Edison news consortium exit poll appears to have a much more balanced sample of mail voters, early voters and Election Day voters, and that poll suggested Latinos voted Democrat at well over a 2-to-1 margin.”
The Edison survey also suggests that only 5 percent of the electorate in Virginia was made up of Hispanics—a ludicrous assumption that the Democratic pollster failed to point out.
The question for Democrats is, what can they do to stop the exodus? They’ve just about run out of scary Republicans to frighten Hispanics into voting for them. They’re going to have to get real, get down in the trenches, and show Hispanics they care about their issues: family, faith, and crime.
For Republicans, if they blow this chance to compete for the Hispanic vote by playing the nativist card, they deserve whatever befalls them. Hispanics as a bloc aren’t as monolithic as the black vote, and if the GOP keeps attracting—and embracing—the Hispanic community, they will be able to peel away enough support to make the Democrats pay for their woke stupidity.