Election 2016

Trump Has a Major Image Problem With Hispanics

Trump Has a Major Image Problem With Hispanics

Story Highlights

  • Trump has 12% favorable, 77% unfavorable image among Hispanics
  • Trump has become better known, but more disliked since summer
  • Rubio, Kasich and Cruz have much more positive images among Hispanics

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Presidential candidate Donald Trump has a major image problem among U.S. Hispanics, with 77% saying they view him unfavorably and just 12% viewing him favorably. This gives Trump by far the most negative image among Hispanics of any of the four Republican candidates. He also has a much more negative image among Hispanics than the two Democratic candidates.

160311_Net_Favorable_3

This latest update is based on Gallup Daily tracking data collected Jan. 2-March 8. When Gallup started tracking the candidates in July and August of 2015, Trump was not quite as well-known as he is now. However, his image was already very negative, with 66% of Hispanics viewing him unfavorably and 14% favorably. As he has become better known among Hispanics, his image has worsened.

The major factor most likely contributing to Trump's image deficit among Hispanics is one of the first highly publicized controversies of his presidential campaign in June, when he called for building a giant wall along the Mexican border. He also characterized Mexicans coming into the U.S. as drug traffickers and rapists. Since then, Trump's strong and controversial stances against other immigrant groups may have reinforced the ill will among Hispanics, the majority of whom immigrated to this country within the last several generations.

Trump is well-known among Hispanics. At this point, 89% are familiar enough with the billionaire businessman to have an opinion about him, substantially higher than Hispanics' familiarity with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (58% and 56% familiarity, respectively) and much higher than Hispanics' low familiarity with John Kasich (29%). In fact, Hispanics are now slightly more familiar with Trump than with Hillary Clinton.

Trump's Negative Image Among Hispanics Goes Beyond Party Leanings

Hispanics tilt Democratic, with 50% identifying as Democratic or leaning Democratic in the Jan. 2-March 8 period, contrasted with 23% who identify as Republican or who lean Republican. Trump's negative image, however, is not merely a result of Hispanics' Democratic political orientation -- evident in the substantially more positive images that Hispanics have of the other three Republican candidates. Two of these -- Rubio and Kasich -- actually have slightly more positive than negative ratings, while Cruz's image tilts just slightly negative.

Trump also has significant image issues among the relatively small group of Hispanic Republicans interviewed in this period. He is the only one of the four GOP candidates with a negative image among Hispanic Republicans, with a net favorable rating of -29. By contrast, Rubio, Cruz and Kasich all have net positive images among Hispanic Republicans, with Rubio's +34 the best of the group. Trump is significantly less popular with Hispanic Republicans than the two Democratic candidates in the race, Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

160311_Net_Favorable_4 (1)

Bottom Line

Hispanics' views of Trump can be an important factor not only in forthcoming primary contests in states such as Florida and Arizona with high Hispanic populations, but also in the general election -- should he win the GOP nomination. Just this week a news report indicated that billionaire George Soros and other liberal donors are bankrolling a multimillion-dollar campaign to motivate Hispanic voters to get out and vote in key swing states such as Colorado, Florida and Nevada. A New York Times article this week cited anecdotal evidence that disliking Trump has led to a situation in which Hispanics living in the U.S. are increasingly attempting to become U.S. citizens between now and November specifically to vote against him.

Exit polls show that Mitt Romney received 27% of the Hispanic vote in his 2012 run against Barack Obama, and Gallup polling in the fall of that year showed that Romney's image among Hispanics, while net negative, was still much more positive than Trump's is today.

This suggests that if Trump ends up being the GOP nominee, his unusually negative image among Hispanics could make it difficult for him to equal Romney's 2012 share of the Hispanic vote. In particular, this could present a challenge for Trump in key swing states where Hispanics are a sizable percentage of the electorate.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted on a continuous basis on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey. The latest update used in this report is based on interviewing conducted Jan. 2 - March 8, 2016, with random samples of between 1,173 and 1,236 Hispanic adults who rated each candidate, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, rating each of the three candidates. For results based on the total sample, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Reports of Hispanic Republicans are based on random samples of between 294 and 331 Hispanics who identify as Republicans or lean Republican, with a margin of sampling error of ±7. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

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