Democratic leaders and operatives are increasingly worried that the party is losing its hold on Latino voters ahead of the 2022 midterms, multiple sources told Politico on Tuesday.
Democratic pollsters and grassroots leaders told Politico that the party often takes Latinos for granted and is not putting in the effort to keep them loyal.
Democrats will likely need strong Latino turnout in their favor to have any chance of winning this year's midterms, in which Republicans are widely expected to retake control of at least one chamber of Congress.
Many Democratic bigwigs still aren't "admitting there's a problem," though, according to strategist Chuck Rocha.
Latinos in recent years have shifted strongly toward the Republican Party. Former president Donald Trump received unexpectedly high levels of Hispanic support in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, and Hispanic voters were crucial to Republican Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin's victory last year.
Polls have borne out that shift. A majority of Latinos believe the Democratic Party takes them "for granted," a December poll found. That same month, a different polling firm reported that 40 percent of Hispanic voters say "Latinx," a gender-neutral word for their ethnicity used by many Democratic politicians, "bothers or offends them." Thirty percent went so far as to say they would be less likely to support a politician who uses the made-up term.