Republican and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump won 29 percent of the Latino vote in the November 8 general election according to national exit polls, outperforming both the polling, which put him at under 20 percent, and the 27 percent GOP nominee Mitt Romney notched in 2012. Meanwhile Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was polling above 70 percent with Latino voters, won just 65 percent of the vote—less than the 71 percent President Barack Obama secured four years ago.
Early voting discussion about a highly anticipated "Latino surge" and "sleeping giant" that would carry Clinton to victory dissipated as election results trickled in on Tuesday. Though there were record numbers of Latino voters, they were counterbalanced by Trump's ability to attract greater numbers of white voters to the polls in the same states that have high Latino populations. Latinos made up 11 percent of the electorate this election, up from 10 percent in 2012.
Polling firm Latino Decisions, however, said the national exit poll should be viewed with “extreme skepticism,” due to problems with the methodology, most notably that we do not know if the poll was offered in Spanish as well as English and, if so, how many interviews were conducted in Spanish. If the national exit poll was only or even primarily offered in English, it would skew the numbers in Trump’s favor. In a bilingual poll conducted among Latino voters in July by Bendixen & Amandi, support for Trump was 9 points higher when conducted in English than in Spanish (21 percent compared to 12 percent), while Clinton’s went down 11 points (60 percent support in English to 71 percent in Spanish).