July 16, 2015 | By Karl Friedhoff

Trump Flatlines Among Latinos

Donald Trump thinks he will win the Latino vote in 2016. Good luck with that. In a new poll conducted by Univision, 79 percent said that they find Donald Trump’s comments about Latinos offensive. In case you were busy reading up on the implosion of Reddit, following the Pluto flyby, fully immersed in the Gold Cup, or just generally avoiding silly season within the GOP as primaries approach here’s a very brief overview of those comments.

Trump said the immigrants coming from Mexico are criminals, “rapists”, and “bringing drugs” to America. That’s it. That’s the entire update. What else is really needed to understand why 71 percent in the Univision poll have an unfavorable view of Mr. Trump?

Given the seriousness of those accusations, a review of the available data on crime rates—noticeably absent from Trump’s remarks—would seem like a necessity. A new report by the American Immigration Council does exactly that. (The report is covered in more detail by The Wall Street Journal here.) For the TL;DR crowd, here’s the opening sentence from the Executive Summary of the report:

For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed two simple yet powerful truths about the relationship between immigration and crime: immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime.

In a normal year, Trump’s comments would have simply been attributed to the impolitic ravings of an also-ran looking to up his national profile. But in 2015, with Mr. Trump looking competitive (for now) in the polls, they could present a serious problem for the GOP.

Craig Kafura, a colleague at The Chicago Council, recently broke down GOP attitudes on immigration for an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The piece focuses on Scott Walker’s immigration stance, but also applies to Mr. Trump. In a nutshell, aiming at the far right on immigration may serve the interest of increasing support in the short-term, but will undermine the ability to win moderates in a broader election.

Luckily for the GOP, it is early days and no one expects Trump to make a serious run at the party’s nomination (except Trump himself). Unluckily for the GOP, he has plenty of time to further damage the GOP’s standing among Latino voters. In a bit of train wreck theatre, it is this expectation that is making the first GOP debate on August 6 such a highly anticipated event. Grab the popcorn and enjoy the spectacle. 

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.

Archive

| By Karl Friedhoff

NYPD Union Takes to the Polls

Karl Friedhoff looks at a survey conducted by the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which finds high levels of dissatisfaction among its members. But publicly available surveys of officers appear to be rare.

| By Craig Kafura

O Canada! Public Opinion and the US-Canada Relationship

Canada’s newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau, recently enjoyed a successful state visit to the United States. While Canadian prime ministers don’t visit the United States as frequently as they used to, that doesn’t mean American enthusiasm for Canada has flagged.

| By Dina Smeltz

Iran Is Holding Elections, Too

Iran is holding parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections tomorrow. A recent University of Maryland survey of the Iranian public found that six in ten Iranians prefer that most of the parliament to be composed of the supporters of President Hassan Rouhani.





| By Karl Friedhoff

Korea-Japan Agreement Here to Stay

Karl Friedhoff looks at polling done in South Korea on attitudes towards Japan to add perspective on the recent deal between Korea and Japan to resolve the "comfort women" issue.




| By Dina Smeltz, Craig Kafura

Climate Concerns on the Rise

While Democrats and Republicans are at opposite ends of the spectrum in prioritizing climate change, Chicago Council Surveys going back to 2002 have shown longstanding public support for an international treaty to address the problem.


Americans Hungry for Food Information

There is a renaissance in America’s interest in food and, more specifically, how food is produced. A new Chicago Council poll finds that contrary to the debate about hot-button issues like GMOs, antibiotics, and local food, the vast majority of Americans value food that is above all affordable, safe, and nutritious.

| By Karl Friedhoff, Dina Smeltz

Strong Asia Alliances, Divided Publics

New Council survey data shows that US relations with Japan and South Korea are strong. But mutual distrust between Japan and South Korea continues, even as the United States encourages strengthened relations in the face of a rising China.