Posted on November 10, 2022

More Hispanics Backed Republicans, but Not Enough for a ‘Red Wave’

Matthew Miranda, Sacramento Bee, November 10, 2022

Latinos did not abandon Democrats on election day, but the results show Republicans might enjoy a new, higher level of support among America’s fast-growing voting bloc.

Polls also reveal abortion and inflation took precedence in the minds of Hispanics when filling out their ballots. And while nothing is certain yet, there’s agreement that it’s time to retire the use of the “sleeping giant” cliche when describing Latino voters.


Both preliminary network exit polls and voter polls from AP VoteCast found that about 6 in 10 Latino voters supported Democratic candidates across the country. Republican support hovered around 38% to 40% among Latino voters.

That falls in line with 2020 election numbers and reflected greater GOP support compared to previous elections.

Latino support for Republicans has fluctuated. In 2018, a blue wave midterm election, about 70% of Hispanics supported Democratic candidates in the national exit poll. And in the 2014, the midterm election when Republicans flipped the Senate, the Democratic advantage was 62-36 among Latino voters.

Mike Madrid, Republican Latino voting trends expert, said Democrats are still winning over Latinos, but the margins are smaller. He also pointed to Republican Rep. Mike Garcia’s current lead over Democratic opponent Christy Smith for a Southern California seat as a signal of support for Republican candidates in the Latino community.

“It’s clear that the new baseline for Republicans support is 40% …The most curious thing is that in a year that was anemic for Republicans, the support levels of the GOP with Hispanics held firm,” Madrid said.


In a Wednesday morning briefing of several engagement and advocacy groups that collaborated on the poll, leaders emphasized that Latinos were key in avoiding the “red wave.”

Kenny Sandoval, vice president of campaigns and partnerships for Voto Latino, cited the Senate races in Pennsylvania and Georgia as examples of Latinos having a critical role.

Latino voters supported Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman by a three to one margin over Mehmet Oz, according to NBC exit polls. U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock got 58% of the Latino vote in Georgia.

“These results wouldn’t have been possible without Latinos, specifically Latinos aren’t just keeping Democrats in contention to these races, they may as well have kept control of the Senate,” Sandoval said. “All of this should put to rest that Latinos voters have magically turned into Republicans.”