Is the Georgia Latino Vote Shifting to the GOP?

With both Nathan Deal and David Perdue winning with a wide margin, one has to wonder what happened to the Democratic Party of Georgia’s secret weapon, a.k.a. “minority voter turnout”. Did the anticipated voters not show up to the polls? Or did the Georgia Republican Party actually win a significant chunk of the minority voter share? Exit poll statistics of one demographic in particular seems to have surprised many.

From WABE:

National exit polls show Republican Governor Nathan Deal took 47 percent of Latino votes, while Republican Senator-elect David Perdue got 42 percent.

Compare that to the 2010 midterms, when Republicans nationally got about 34 percent of that demographic (Latino voting numbers were too small in 2008, the last time the state had a U.S. Senate race, for reliable polling data).

One could argue that the recent shift in Latino voting trends can be attributed to the Georgia Republican Party’s minority engagement efforts. Leo Smith, the Minority Engagement Director for the Georgia Republican Party is also quoted in the same article:

“When it comes to business opportunities and developing a personal economy, I think that our messaging really resonated,” said Leo Smith, who heads minority engagement for the Georgia Republican party.

Smith says the state GOP did virtually nothing to bring in Latinos in 2010, and looked to change that this time around. He said the party did a lot of outreach with the Latinos this year, speaking with community leaders, talking with Latino media and using Spanish messaging.

Leo Smith may actually be on to something here. A recent PewHispanic study shows that most Latino voters (49%) rate the economy as their number 1 issue, followed by health care (24%) and illegal immigration (16%). It is no secret that the economy was a key issue in the campaigns of Governor Deal and David Perdue. Is the recent Latino surge to the GOP a sign of things to come? Also, is the Republican Party’s fiscal platform enough to attract Latinos their way? Discuss.


  1. The interesting thing to me about all these stories that are relying on a tiny sub-sample of an exit poll (which is generally unreliable – remember the initial exit poll had the Senate race 48-49) is that even if you believe that Republicans are doing better with non-white voters in Georgia, their total vote was lower than 2010 and the Democrats vote was 2 points higher than 2010. So, logically, if Republicans are doing better with Georgia’s minority voters, yet Democrats are narrowing the gap, that means we’re doing better with whites? Maybe, but I have my doubts.

    Precinct 020 in Gwinnett is 21% white, 44% black and 13% hispanic. Carter got 76%. We know that it’s likely in a place like that whites made up a larger share of the electorate than their registration. So probably 30% of the electorate was white. If Deal got 75% of those votes – 22% of his total. Means Democrats were basically getting every non-white vote, including Hispanics.

    Looking at the precincts in the state that have the largest total Hispanic registration.
    Whitfield 5a – 32% Hispanic – Carter 64%.
    Whitfield 6a – 32% hispanic – Carter 66%.

    Now in Whitfield county, Democrats were getting clobbered. It just doesn’t add up that Hispanics were voting for Republicans if Democrats were winning (big) the only places in counties like that where Hispanics vote. But a 40 person sample in an exit poll or a Survey USA poll says that Hispanics are pretty Republican, so I guess you should believe that instead.

    • John Konop says:

      It is really fairly simple…..If the GOP is lying to themselves about the data, Dems win big in 16…because GOP will not compromise on immigration….If they do compromise…the powers at be in the GOP do not buy the data on Latinos…. and won the fight within the GOP. As I always say math is math….

  2. saltycracker says:

    Maybe the Latinos are more tuned in to seeking opportunity and individual freedoms over corrupt bureaucracies with promises for free stuff from the ruling class.

  3. alpha male says:

    these numbers are surprising and have to be frightening for the dems. If the GOP is able to garner 40% of the Hispanic vote , it is difficult to see any path to victory for the democrats in the foreseeable future, regardless of what “millennial women” do. That would drastically change the “demographics is turning Georgia blue” meme.

    • saltycracker says:

      Never underestimate my fellow GOP’ers to find a way to squander a great opportunity.
      We have low hanging fruit, let’s not make it a piñata.

        • alpha male says:

          Didn’t you also consistently debunk the polls that showed Perdue pulling away? I think I will stick with the professionals for now. However I certainly understand why you have to hope they are incorrect. If they are even close to being right, the democrats are toast.

          • Or you could just look at actual precinct results where Hispanics live and see if Republicans did well in those precincts.

            But hey – stick with an analysis based on a 40 person sample in a few polls over actual election results of thousands of voters.

            • saltycracker says:

              Whatever, at the end of the day the Republicans, as mentioned, have the stick and the opportunity to do right by millions of long time illegal workers and not so much for those here for public assistance.

              Just got a one person survey supporting the assistance side:

              Media: why are you planning to grant amnesty to millions of illegals?
              Obama: Because they will do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.
              Media: like what ?
              Obama: Voting Democrat.

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