Donald Trump is broadly unpopular with Latinos; that’s a fact. Still, general polling sentiment is one thing, and actual November votes are another. According to both anecdotal evidence and data in a new Houston Chronicle piece, though, Trump’s increasing prominence has corresponded with a rise in Latino voter registration and Latino-immigrant naturalization that does not bode well for the real estate heir’s chances in the general election. From the Chronicle:
Since last summer, when Trump ignited a furor by labeling Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers, average monthly citizenship applications nationwide spiked nearly 15 percent to about 64,800 between August and January compared to the same period the year before.
Since last summer monthly naturalization ceremonies in Houston have swelled to about 2,200 compared to the 1,200 that was typical before. Of those, an average of more than 80 percent are registering to vote compared to the previous 60 percent.
“Nearly half” of all newly naturalized U.S. citizens these days are Latinos, the paper writes, and “in all, about 730,000 immigrants became citizens last year, a 12 percent increase from 2014. In Texas, the number of new Americans grew by a quarter in 2015 to 66,000.” The paper also cites evidence of swelling Latino registration in California; while influxes of Latino voters would be unlikely to affect electoral-college outcomes in California (which is already heavily blue) or Texas (which is so red that it probably won’t make a difference), the critical swing states of Illinois and Florida, among others, do have significant Latino populations. (Nationwide popular vote totals, of course, can also help in creating a “mandate” for an elected president and/or a feeling of landslide disaster for the losing party, so on that front California and Texas could still be relevant.)
The naturalization process takes about six months to complete, which means that individuals planning to vote in November would need to be getting their Form N-400s in soon.
Also, this weekend at a party I talked to a British guy who is going through the process of obtaining dual U.S. citizenship right now and is going to vote against Trump in the fall. True story.