LAS VEGAS — Patricia Lugo rattled off a string of fierce adjectives describing life under the Trump administration – “ugly,” “bad,” “terrible.”

She joined a cluster of other Latinos in a Las Vegas shopping center in listing grievances against the president that included referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and separating parents from children at the border.

Lugo is determined to support Democrats as they fight back, but she’s alarmed that a handful of friends and family have given up on voting.

“They say it doesn’t do anything,” said Lugo, 56, a promoter for a footwear chain. “And it doesn’t matter who votes because (politicians) do whatever they want anyway.”

Trump rode to his improbable victory in 2016 by winning a troika of Rust Belt states where there are relatively few Latinos. This was supposed to be the election Latinos struck back.

Many Democrats presumed that Latinos, who are largely clustered in a handful of states, would be better-positioned to flex their muscles and punish the president for his actions and rhetoric targeting Latino immigrants – most recently when he pledged to send troops to the border to block a northbound caravan of Central American migrants.

Latinos had been poised to play a prominent role in several House races in California and Senate races in Florida and the Southwest.

But as Election Day nears, polling shows it’s more affluent and predominantly white college-educated women with whom Democrats have made the most inroads, while Latinos haven’t fully turned against Trump and his Republican Party.

“Donald Trump is the most hostile president to Hispanics in American history, yet Donald Trump has between a 25 percent and 35 percent approval rating among some Hispanics – higher than 40 percent in Florida,” said Fernand Amadi, a Florida-based Latino pollster.

About 25 percent of Latino voters are reliable Republicans, but others seem willing to support the party amid the solid economy.

“From their perspective, this Trump’s crazy and a bigoted loudmouth, but we deal with people like this in every day of our lives,” Amadi said.

The relatively tepid showing for Democrats so far from some Latino voters was evident this month when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports House candidates, trimmed its financial support from candidates trying to oust Republican congressmen in one west Texas district and another in California.

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