Unsurprisingly, Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump with Latino voters in key swing states now. What is interesting, however, is that neither candidate is matching the Latino vote share their party’s presidential candidates received in these states in 2012.
In 2012, President Barack Obama won 74% of the Latino vote in Arizona, 75% in Colorado, 60% in Florida, and 71% in Nevada. Mitt Romney won 25% of the Latino vote in Arizona, 23% in Colorado, 39% in Florida, and 24% in Nevada. According to a recent survey conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International and The Tarrance Group for Univision Noticias, today Mrs. Clinton is winning 68% of the Latino vote in Arizona (-6 compared to Mr. Obama), 62% in Colorado (-13), 53% in Florida (-7), and 65% in Nevada (-6). Mr. Trump is winning 18% of the Latino vote in Arizona (-7 compared to Mr. Romney), 17% in Colorado (-6), 29% in Florida (-10), and 19% in Nevada (-5).
Why is Mrs. Clinton underperforming Mr. Obama? As is the case with others voters, Latinos are split on whether they “think Clinton is a liar.” In Arizona, 43% of Latino voters say she is a liar and 43% say she is not. That split is 42% to 47% in Colorado; 46% to 41% in Florida; and 49% to 41% in Nevada. When asked if Mr. Trump will “change his tone,” this group is more emphatic. Eighty percent of Arizona Latino voters say he will not, along with 74% in Colorado, 63% in Florida, and 74% in Nevada.
It is unlikely Mr. Trump will do well with this group, but if Mrs. Clinton intends to recreate the Obama Coalition (something she cannot do without impressive shares of the Latino vote) in order to propel her to victory, she has lots of work to do.