There may be no group of voters who have been more alienated by Donald Trump than Hispanics. He’s described them as rapists, said they are unfit to serve as judges, kicked them out of his press conferences, and promised to deport them. Those remarks may be coming back to haunt him. Polling suggests 79% of Hispanics will vote for Hillary Clinton and early voting data indicates they are turning out in record numbers.
High turnout among Hispanics is critical for Clinton in battleground states such as Arizona, Florida, and Nevada. In Florida, Hispanic turnout in early voting is up 129% compared to 2008, according to CNN. Florida’s 29 votes are among the most important that are up for grabs this year. According to the New York Times it will be virtually impossible for Trump to win the election if he loses Florida.
In Arizona more than a third of all registered voters have already voted, according to The Arizona Republic. The percentage of early voters who are Hispanic has nearly doubled since the 2012 election, from 6.2% to 12%. Most projections show Arizona as among the most difficult tossup states for Clinton to win, so the early showing of support there is good news for her campaign.
On the ground reporting from early voting centers seems to bear out the statistics. In Clark County, Nevada, which contains Las Vegas, early polling locations had to stay open late to accommodate long lines.
Latino support won’t be enough to ensure a Clinton victory. Early voting data also indicates that turnout among African Americans, another crucial Democratic voting block, may actually be lower than it was in 2012. White turnout—Trump’s base—appears to be up from 2012. The horserace is not over.