You wouldn't know it from watching any of the U.S. national Spanish-language evening newscasts, but the Pew Research Center has released a survey that shows that among the country's Hispanic voters, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is currently polling at roughly the same levels Mitt Romney and John McCain did as the party's previous standard-bearers.
The comparable numbers are actually favorable for Trump: whereas at this same time in 2008 McCain was polling 23% and in October of 2012 Romney was polling 21%, Pew has Trump currently taking 24% of the Hispanic vote.
Even more interesting - and again ignored by national Spanish-language television networks Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America and Mega TV, is that among English-dominant Hispanic voters, Trump is pulling within striking distance, down to Clinton by only seven points, 48-41.
The survey, conducted June 15-26, also found that immigration – the issue frequently portrayed by Univision's Jorge Ramos and others as practically the be-all and end-all issue among the nation's Hispanics – lags behind the economy, terrorism and health care among these voters' most top-of-mind concerns.
The networks' silence on the results of this survey is deafening. Univision and Telemundo routinely report on Pew Research Center surveys of the country's Latino population. This looks like a very suspicious case of bias by omission, which often takes place when the news doesn't fit a preferred narrative.
Of course, Trump clearly still has his work cut out for him among the nation's Hispanic voters. On issue after issue, the survey shows Clinton with sizeable advantages over Trump among this segment of the electorate. But if at this point in the election, the Republican candidate is performing at levels entirely comparable to those of past Republican candidates, it not only signals surprising buoyancy given the dynamics of the Trump campaign, but also the possibility of real room for growth.
Beltway insiders and Hispanic network bigwigs may find that Hispanic voters are not as predictable as they think. After all, they're the same ones who “failed to grasp the Trump phenomenon”, according to Politico. The jury is still out, folks.