by Mary Lou Masters
A Democrat in the battleground state of Pennsylvania voiced concerns over her party increasingly losing Latino voters to the GOP ahead of the November election, Politico reported Friday.
Democrat Nicarol Soto of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, who ran an unsuccessful city council campaign in 2023, told the outlet that she’s seen signs of the voting bloc moving toward the Republican Party within her own family. Soto, who immigrated to Pennsylvania from the Dominican Republic, believes the shift is largely due to the community’s views on the economy and abortion, according to Politico.
“We are losing a lot of voters,” Soto (pictured above) told the outlet. “They’re moving towards the other side.”
Some of Soto’s family members now call themselves supporters of former President Donald Trump, she told Politico. The Democrat said Latino voters feel that “the economy was [in] better shape when Trump was the president,” and that “they feel identified with him.”
Hazleton is located in northeastern Pennsylvania, where Latinos make up more than 60% of the city’s small 30,000 population, according to Politico. There are over 600,000 eligible Latino voters in Pennsylvania, where Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020 to President Joe Biden.
The voting bloc typically backs Democrats by large margins, with 69% of Latinos supporting Biden in the battleground state in 2020 compared to Trump’s 27%, according to CNN’s exit polling.
However, a late January Bloomberg/Morning Consult survey found the former president down by only nine points among Hispanic voters. The demographic chose Trump by double digits on the question of whether the economy was better off under his administration than Biden’s.
“The Republican Party has the greatest opportunity with the fastest-growing demographic in their history,” Charlie Gerow, a GOP strategist based in Pennsylvania, told Politico;“2024 is the opportunity for Republicans to truly break through and win if not a majority, then a large plurality of the Latino vote.”
Additionally, the battleground state’s Democrats increasingly switched their voter registration to Republican in 2023, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s data released in December. More than 35,000 Democrats flocked to the GOP last year, compared to only 15,622 Republican voters who flipped blue.
Biden is currently leading Trump in the RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 rematch in Pennsylvania by only 0.3 points.
Soto did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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