New polling suggests that presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has a dire unpopularity problem among African-American and Latino voters.
A new Washington Post/ABC News survey, released on June 15, found that Trump is met with near-unanimous disapproval among two core demographics: 94 percent of black voters said they have a negative view of the GOP nominee, and 89 percent of Latino voters also gave him a thumbs down.
The survey compared the favorability ratings between Trump and the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Both candidates proved to be unpopular, with 70 percent of respondents viewing the business mogul unfavorably while the former Secretary of State received low marks from 55 percent of respondents.
While 68 percent of white respondents viewed Clinton negatively, Trump’s striking unpopularity among racial minorities could prove crippling for his electoral prospects in November.
The business mogul could rely solely on white voter turnout to win the 2016 presidential election, but recent polling suggests that he has not surpassed former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in popularity among Caucasians, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Romney won 17 percent more of the white vote than incumbent President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race but ultimately lost that election. Trump would need to increase his favorables among Caucasians by 5 percentage points above Romney's margin in order to win on the strength of the white vote alone.
How Trump has managed to so thoroughly alienate African Americans and Latinos is likely not a mystery to anyone who has listened to the business mogul’s rhetoric on immigration and his comments about U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
The presumptive GOP nominee’s approach to Latino outreach has flown in the face of the recommendations made by an Republican National Committee (RNC) autopsy of the 2012 election, according to Talking Points Memo.
That report had urged Republicans to stop antagonizing the Latino population, the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., and to “embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform.”
“If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only,” the report warned.
“If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence,” the autopsy report concluded.
The Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, had warned that Trump’s repeated calls to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and enforce mass deportations of undocumented immigrants could have devastating consequences for the GOP.
The senator told CNN earlier in June that Trump’s attitude towards Hispanics was similar to how the Republican party permanently lost the African-American vote in 1964, when the GOP nominee, Sen. Barry Goldwater, voted against the Civil Rights Act.
Goldwater’s antagonism towards blacks completely neutralized the GOP’s comparatively better record for civil rights and led to African Americans becoming a hugely reliable demographic for the Democrats.
“It did define our party, for at least African-American voters, and it still does today,” McConnell said. “That was a complete shift that occurred that year and we’ve never [been] able to get them back.”
The current polling suggests that Trump could be doing lasting damage for the GOP brand among a vital voting block. The question is whether or not he can improve his image among Hispanics before the damage is permanent.