If Democrats want to keep winning the Latino vote, they'll need to stop using the politically correct and gender-neutral word "Latinx" to do so.
The term, which was invented by far-left academics and activists to change the Spanish language to be more inclusive of people who identify as transgender and gender non-binary, is highly unpopular with Hispanic Americans. In fact, according to a new nationwide poll of Hispanic voters, many find it downright offensive.
Among those surveyed by Bendixen & Amandi International, a top Democratic firm that specializes in Latino outreach, only 2% said they refer to themselves as Latinx. Most respondents, 68%, call themselves "Hispanic," and 21% said they prefer to use "Latino" or "Latina" to describe their ethnic background.
The number of Latinos who use the term "Latinx" is unchanged from a 2019 poll that also found the fake descriptor to be the least popular ethic label among Latinos. Though progressive politicians and media outlets have insisted on using "Latinx," political strategists have cautioned that imposing a label on people who do not use it to describe themselves might be a bad political strategy.
The poll confirms this is so: 40% of respondents said "Latinx" bothers or offends them, and 30% said they would be less likely to vote for someone that uses the term — including nearly a quarter of Democrats surveyed.
Democratic strategists are hitting the panic button as the 2022 midterm elections approach. President Joe Biden's poll numbers are tanking amid historic inflation and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Smart observers have noticed how former President Donald Trump made gains with women and Latino voters in 2020 and how Hispanic voters propelled Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin to victory in last month's gubernatorial election.
So, when the president or other national Democrats insist on using words like Latinx, the fear is they are demonstrating how they are out of touch with voters they'll need to keep control of Congress.
“The numbers suggest that using Latinx is a violation of the political Hippocratic Oath, which is to first do no electoral harm,” Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi said in an interview with Politico. “Why are we using a word that is preferred by only 2 percent, but offends as many as 40 percent of those voters we want to win?”
“By insisting on using the incorrect term Latinx, progressives are engaging in a type of cultural Marxism, a recast of societal norms,” said Virginia Republican Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, a Cuban American who will be the first Hispanic to hold the office in the state. "Latinos don't use the term — only upper-educated white liberals who hardly interact with the Latino community. I believe that every time they use the term Latinx, they lose another Latino vote.”
But others, like Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha, a former senior adviser to former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), suggest that GOP gains with Hispanics have nothing to do with the words they're using. Given that 57% of poll respondents said they aren't "bothered or offended" by the term Latinx, it can't be the only reason Hispanics are shifting rightward.
"The only reason they made inroads is they actually started communicating and talking to Latinos, who they just never took the time to talk to in years past," Rocha said.