Republicans are now more preferred to control the House and Senate by Hispanic voters than Democrats, according to the results of a survey published on Wednesday.
The House GOP gained the support of 46% of Hispanic registered voters, compared to 42% among Democrats, per Quinnipiac University, which conducted the poll.
This 4-point lead in the House, along with a 1-point lead in the Senate, marks the first time that Republicans have overtaken Democrats in plurality support among Hispanic voters in this election cycle.
“Democrats have spent decades taking the Hispanic vote for granted while pushing for failed policies on issues ranging from the economy to education, to crime and the border,” said Nicole Morales, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman.
Other polls, by contrast, have shown Democrats with significant leads, although they were sampled earlier. In September, Pew Research placed Democrats ahead of Republicans by 25 points, a lead consistent across other major polls.
The party’s gain of Hispanic support comes after a sustained push for voter engagement with Hispanic communities. Since 2020, the GOP has opened 21 Hispanic community centers across the country, mostly in major cities, with dedicated staff to turn out Hispanic and Latino voters, according to a list provided by the RNC.
The RNC has also started the “Republican Civics Initiative,” primarily to help Hispanic conservatives who are lawful permanent residents of the United States pass the naturalization civics test and become U.S. citizens, thereby becoming eligible to vote.
The first graduation ceremony for the program was held in September, at El Doral, Florida, as The Free Press reported.
Republicans have long had to contend with a deficit among Hispanics and Latinos, which in 2012 was as high as 42 points, supposedly due to the House GOP’s opposition to an immigration reform bill proposed by then-President Barack Obama.
Their present gains with the community, however, come as the GOP has focused its message on inflation and abortion, crime, and education – issues where it argues that Hispanics are more socially conservative than Democrats.
The approach has obtained some results, with Republican Rep. Maya Flores, an immigrant from Mexico, winning a special election in Texas’s 34th Congressional District, located in a South Texas border region.
The district, where Hispanics comprise 84% of the population, had previously elected a Democrat in every federal election over the last decade.
Moreover, in Florida, the GOP has registered over 108,000 new voters with the party since 2020, and now outnumbers Democrats in voter registration by 440,000 voters, per Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an election monitoring group at the University of Virginia.
This includes nearly 70,000 voters in Miami-Dade County, which President Joe Biden won by 8 points in the 2020 election.
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 2,010 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. FiveThirtyEight grades Quinnipiac “A-” for pollster reliability and gives it a 0.5% bias factor in favor of Democrats.