Frustrated MSNBC: ‘What’s it Going to Take’ for Latino Voters to Dump Trump?

On Friday, while marking the one year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected president, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff traveled to Nevada hoping to find that Latino voters who backed Trump in 2016 had now abandoned him. However, much to his astonishment, he found that they remained steadfast in their support for the President.

“Two months before the 2016 election, I went on the Las Vegas radio show of Trump adviser Jesus Marquez....29% of Nevada’s Latino voters did vote for Trump. So last week I went back on Jesus’s show to see how things have changed since then,” Soboroff explained at the top of his report during the 10 a.m. ET hour.  

 

 

Soboroff pressed Marquez: “What I want to know from you is, a year after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, are you still happy with the way that you voted and the way that he’s doing?” Without hesitation, the radio host replied: “Yes, especially in the economy. The economy’s growing, we are growing now at 3.1%.”

Looking back to 2016, Soboroff confessed:

What surprised me most when I was here last time is that so many of your listeners called in, okay, and said to me, “It doesn’t matter that I’m Latino, it doesn’t matter that Donald Trump has insulted so many members of my race.” I want to know, a year later, since all of this, do people out there, do your listeners feel the same way?

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It turned out that they did. Caller after caller defied the liberal reporter’s expectation of dwindling support for Trump. One man declared: “I feel way, way, way better with this president than before he was president. So I will vote for him again...” Soboroff desperately tried to lecture him: “As a Latino voter, nothing that Donald Trump has done, including, you know, ending DACA, going forward with building these wall prototypes – ” The caller cut him off:

Wait a minute, that’s a problem, that’s a problem. He didn’t end DACA. DACA was over by Barack Obama. He put the date when it was gonna have to be finished he didn’t renew it. That’s way different, brother.

Another gentleman called in to the show and emphatically stated: “I’m a Mexican-born man, I came here when I was 4. Enough is enough. Enough of the political correctness. Enough of everybody gets coddled. Enough of the establishment.”

Finally, a woman on phone not only doubled down on her vote for Trump but also blasted the liberal media:

I voted for Donald Trump, alright? And at this point in my life, I am not sorry because I did it. Actually, I am very proud of Donald Trump to be my president. I want to ask, why these people in the media, regular media, is always talking about corruption of Donald Trump with Russia. Excuse me, it’s all over the internet, it’s all over the cable channels, that the actual corruption with Russia was Hillary Clinton. So excuse me, that is collusion, that is a problem.

Exasperated by all the pro-Trump sentiment, Soboroff turned to Marquez and fretted: “What’s it going to take, Jesus, for people to change their mind that supported Donald Trump in 2016?”

Fill-in anchor Kristen Welker introduced Soboroff’s piece by telling viewers:

President Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants was expected to doom him on election day in 2016, especially with Latino voters, after demonizing Mexico and Mexican immigrants....And while Trump did not win Nevada, he did get 29% of the state’s Latino voters. Now Jacob is back in Nevada to see if those voters have any buyer’s remorse.

After the taped segment, she turned to her political panel and was baffled as to how Trump could still have any Latino supporters:

WELKER: I want to remind our viewers of how President Trump started his campaign.

DONALD TRUMP [JUNE 16, 2015]: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

WELKER: Tim, when he first spoke those words, everyone said, “That’s it, he doesn’t have a shot.” You just heard one voter there in that conversation say, “I actually feel better about him now that he’s in office.” How do you square all of that?

Politico’s Tim Alberta observed: “Well, look, it’s a great reminder that the Latino community is not a monolith, electorally speaking.”

Welker again worried that Trump wasn’t being seen as anti-immigrant: “...one of the things that struck me is you heard that caller talking about DACA. He said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, the way that President Obama put it in place, it wasn’t meant to last.’ So that voter isn’t pointing the finger at President Trump.”

She then entertained the possibility that the media may be out of touch: “And yet, here in political circles, a lot of folks thought, ‘Oh, that’s going to cost him with Latino voters.’ Are we thinking about this in the wrong way?” The Washington Post’s Eugene Scott agreed: “I certainly think so....to look at  people who backed Trump and to think that they voted primarily from a place of being concerned about how he spoke about demographics, it’s not why they supported him.”

The biased coverage was brought to viewers by T.Rowe Price, HomeLight.com, and Planters.

Here is a full transcript of the November 10 segment:

10:38 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: President Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants was expected to doom him on election day in 2016, especially with Latino voters, after demonizing Mexico and Mexican immigrants. MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff tested that theory about a month before the election. He visited a Las Vegas Spanish language talk radio show and found a lot of support for candidate Trump. And while Trump did not win Nevada, he did get 29% of the state’s Latino voters. Now Jacob is back in Nevada to see if those voters have any buyer’s remorse.

JESUS MARQUEZ: Jacob Sobor –

JACOB SOBOROFF: Soboroff.

MARQUEZ: Soboroff. Did I say that right?

SOBOROFF: Soboroff. Two months before the 2016 election, I went on the Las Vegas radio show of Trump adviser Jesus Marquez. Our September poll showed 30% of Latino voters in Nevada would go for Trump and we wanted to find out why.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN A [CALLER]: Illegal immigration is not a big issue to me. But what – my big issue is jobs and creating and having  a better economy.

SOBOROFF: It turns out our poll was right, 29% of Nevada’s Latino voters did vote for Trump. So last week I went back on Jesus’s show to see how things have changed since then.

MARQUEZ: We have here Jacob Soboroff. Did I say that right?

SOBOROFF: You got it right this time, 100% correct. What I want to know from you is, a year after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, are you still happy with the way that you voted and the way that he’s doing?

MARQUEZ: Yes, especially in the economy. The economy’s growing, we are growing now at 3.1%.

SOBOROFF: What surprised me most when I was here last time is that so many of your listeners called in, okay, and said to me, “It doesn’t matter that I’m Latino, it doesn’t matter that Donald Trump has insulted so many members of my race.” I want to know, a year later, since all of this, do people out there, do your listeners feel the same way?

MARQUEZ: We’ll open the lines.

SOBOROFF: Let's do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B [CALLER]: I feel way, way, way better with this president than before he was president. So I will vote for him again and probably for his family if they run for president after 2020.

SOBOROFF: As a Latino voter, nothing that Donald Trump has done, including, you know, ending DACA, going forward with building these wall prototypes –

CALLER: Wait a minute, that’s a problem, that’s a problem. He didn’t end DACA. DACA was over by Barack Obama. He put the date when it was gonna have to be finished he didn’t renew it. That’s way different, brother.

LOUIS [CALLER]: My name is Louis. I’m a Mexican-born man, I came here when I was 4. Enough is enough. Enough of the political correctness. Enough of everybody gets coddled. Enough of the establishment.

ERICA [CALLER]: Buenos dias. I voted for Donald Trump, alright? And at this point in my life, I am not sorry because I did it. Actually, I am very proud of Donald Trump to be my president. I want to ask, why these people in the media, regular media, is always talking about corruption of Donald Trump with Russia. Excuse me, it’s all over the internet, it’s all over the cable channels, that the actual corruption with Russia was Hillary Clinton. So excuse me, that is collusion, that is a problem.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much, Erica.

SOBOROFF: What’s it going to take, Jesus, for people to change their mind that supported Donald Trump in 2016?

MARQUEZ: Like I said, if something comes out that proves that he did something illegal, of course I’m not going to support any of that.

SOBOROFF: But for the time being?

MARQUEZ: He’s good.

WELKER: Thanks for that report, Jacob. I always love Jacob’s reporting.

Now I want to bring in my guests back, Eugene Scott, national political reporter for The Washington Post, and Tim Alberta, national political reporter for Politico. Thanks guys for sticking around. A lot to chew on there. Before we get to what we just heard in Jacob’s spot, though, I want to remind our viewers of how President Trump started his campaign.

DONALD TRUMP [JUNE 16, 2015]: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

WELKER: Tim, when he first spoke those words, everyone said, “That’s it, he doesn’t have a shot.” You just heard one voter there in that conversation say, “I actually feel better about him now that he’s in office.” How do you square all of that?

TIM ALBERTA: Well, look, it’s a great reminder that the Latino community is not a monolith, electorally speaking. I think a couple of things. First, President Trump actually was elected with a slightly higher percentage nationwide than Mitt Romney was. According to exit polls, 28% for trump, 27% for Romney, Latino voters nationwide. I think the number was 29% in Nevada.

That having been said, Donald Trump lost the state of Nevada by about two and a half points. Now, if the exit poll is even remotely accurate, at about 29% Latino voters, that’s a state that is about 50/50. It’s basically a majority-minority state at this point with Latino voters playing an overwhelming part of the vote share there. If Donald Trump were to have scored even 35% to 37% of that Latino vote, than he wins Nevada.

So on the one hand, I think it’s valuable to hear the perspective of some Latino voters in that state who said, “Yes, we proudly supported Trump, we still support him.” But overwhelmingly, if you look at 29 versus 71% who did not, you have to wonder, as he’s heading toward re-election in 2020, if the President needs to build on that existing support that he established in 2012 [sic].

WELKER: It’s a great question. And, Eugene, one of the things that struck me is you heard that caller talking about DACA. He said, “Hey, wait a minute, the way that President Obama put it in place, it wasn’t meant to last.” So that voter isn’t pointing the finger at President Trump. And yet, here in political circles, a lot of folks thought, “Oh, that’s going to cost him with Latino voters.” Are we thinking about this in the wrong way?

EUGENE SCOTT: I certainly think so. I covered politics in Arizona during the election and before the election. And what I saw when I spoke with many voters is pretty similar to what I saw with all demographics that supported Donald Trump. People who supported Trump, who got on the Trump train, are generally going to stay on, whether they’re Latino, evangelical, working class, women, college educated. And so, to look at  people who backed Trump and to think that they voted primarily from a place of being concerned about how he spoke about demographics, it’s not why they supported him. And I think that’s what he was trying to explain.

WELKER: And very quickly, before we go, we had a little bit of a mini political earthquake this week, Democrats winning big in various states, but particularly Virginia and New Jersey. When you look toward 2018 and Democrats saying, “Hey, now we have a real shot at trying to take back the House, maybe even take back the Senate,” how important are Latino voters gonna be in 2018?

ALBERTA: Well, in some of these battleground states, more important than others. And in Virginia, you have a perfect example of a state that’s demographically transformed over the last two decades and the political transformation has been a corollary. And you’re going to see that in some of the other major battleground states in 2018, where Republicans are trying to flip Senate seats, and where, in some of these individual House districts, especially suburban districts outside of big cities, you have booming Hispanic populations.

WELKER: Alright, Tim and Eugene, thank you so much for another great conversation, really appreciate it.


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