WASHINGTON — Two big reasons why Republicans made gains with Latinos in 2020 — and why Democrats lost ground — were the dominance of the economy in the election and the success of the GOP’s “socialism” attacks.
That’s the conclusion from the Democratic-leaning group Equis Research after reviewing polls and conducting focus groups with Latino voters.
The 2020 focus on the economy — and away from immigration — unlocked a door for Donald Trump and the GOP to make gains, Equis argued.
In 2016, for instance, 39 percent of Latino voters saw immigration as the top issue in that election, but that share dropped to 16 percent in 2020, according to one poll. By contrast, Latinos who saw the economy and jobs as Issue No. 1 jumped from 33 percent in 2016 to 41 percent in 2020.
And just listen to this focus group participant from Brownsville, Texas, who voted for Obama, didn’t vote in 2016 and then voted for Trump in 2020: “I…