Exit polls show that nine percent of votes in the Nevada caucus were cast by people who describe themselves as Latino Americans, and Donald Trump won a plurality of their votes.
CNN reported shortly before 12:30 a.m. that Trump won 44 percent of the votes from Nevada’s GOP Latinos, despite strong competition from two Latino candidates.
“This is the wow number of the night,” said David Chalian, a CNN political expert. “It is just unbelievable,” he added.
That 44 percent is 15 points above the 29 percent score won by Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been touted since 2012 as the GOP’s best shot to win Latino votes.
Sen. Ted Cruz won 18 percent of the votes, and Gov. John Kasich won four percent.
Per CNN entrance polls, Trump is winning the Latino vote with 44% to Rubio's 29% and Cruz's 18%. Ponder that for a minute.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 24, 2016
Rubio and Cruz are Latinos.
However, the number of Latinos in the poll is so small that the survey has a margin-of-error of roughly 10 percent.
In general, Democratic candidates win the vote of immigrant naturalized citizens, and of their grown children.But the GOP can evenly split the votes of prosperous third-generation and later Latinos who view themselves as core Americans. Most of those established Latinos’ have long family histories in the United States, back to grandparents or further.
In fact, that measure tends to understate the GOP’s share of Latinos. That’s because a small but increasing share of Latinos do not describe themselves as “Latinos,” but as mainstream Americans.