First Stage of Grief — Denial: La Raza Disputes Trump’s Latino Support

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The National Council of La Raza says there is no way more Latino voters supported Donald Trump than supported former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

According to exit poll data, Trump received 29 percent of the Latino vote, compared to the 27 percent Romney received in 2012. While Trump lost the Latino vote Tuesday night, his 36 percentage point margin of defeat among Latinos was also smaller than Romney’s 44 percentage point loss to Barack Obama.

La Raza, however, says that exit poll data is incorrect.

“[W]e strongly dispute exit poll reports suggesting that Trump’s support within the Latino community exceeded that of Mitt Romney’s in 2012,” La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguía said in a statement Wednesday and La Raza tweeted Thursday.

Instead, Murguía said, the real Latino turn out for Trump was likely 11 percentage points lower that what the exit polls showed.

“We stand by Latino Decisions—the gold-standard firm for polling our community—which found that Trump received only 18 percent of the Hispanic vote, which is a record low for a Republican presidential candidate,” Murguía added.

Latino turnout this cycle, according to La Raza, was “historic” and, like the rest of the country, the Latino community was “surprised” by Trump’s victory.

La Raza has been a harsh Trump critic throughout the election, urging Latinos to “punch back” at Trump for what the group has called Trump’s hateful rhetoric directed at Latinos.

Now that the dust has settled and Trump has emerged the winner, La Raza remains extremely skeptical about the president-elect.

“We cherish the democratic process, acknowledge the results of this election, and are open to hearing from the president-elect about his plans,” Murguía said. “But Donald Trump’s harsh and divisive rhetoric, his extreme proposals, and the fact that his outreach to our community during his campaign was nonexistent, have fostered legitimate and significant concerns about the future, for our community and for our nation.”

She added that La Raza remains committed to defending the 58 million Latinos in the U.S.

“And we will actively and fearlessly resist policies and proposals that undermine the interests of our community and Americans at large,” Murguía added. “To our community: we need you to stay engaged. Your voice is more important now than ever before.”

Caroline May