2020 US ELECTIONS

US election 2020 results: who got more Latino votes?

Members of the Democrat party are scratching their heads as the results of the 2020 US election show Trump improved his performance among Latinos from 2016.

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US election 2020 results: who got more Latino votes?
SERGIO FLORES AFP

As demographics change throughout the US the Latino vote is becoming increasingly influential in the outcome of races. The Democrats thought that because of President Trump’s rhetoric and policies against immigration especially targeting Hispanics that this bloc would be more favorable to their party and message. However, President Trump performed better among this constituency than he did in 2016 raising his share to a third, while Biden saw minor difference from Hillary Clinton’s percentage of the Hispanic vote.

One of the main misconceptions that has been voiced more loudly over this election season is that the Latino community isn’t one homogeneous community. Much like the rest of the US it varies by gender, by age and from state to state, as well as where each group has ancestral roots or migrated from and why. A single message doesn’t necessarily work for the collective as a whole.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voiced this view in an interview in Politico.

The reds are coming!

In 2018 Democratic leaders in Florida raised the alarm that the Republican party was painting the Democrats as socialists according to Politico, something that resonates with voters in that community as a wave of far-left populists have taken power in several countries across South America. In southern Florida, the Cuban-American community had to flee the Castro regime and more recently a large influx of Venezuelans has migrated to the US to escape the disastrous policies of Nicolas Maduro that have crippled that countries economy.

Macho man

President Trump has tried to portray himself as the ultimate alpha-male. From his ability to shrug off his covid-19 infection, thanks in large part to having the best doctors and treatments available to any single individual on the planet to how he fights back whenever he feels slighted. This struck a tone with male Latino voters in Texas but was a turnoff for female Latina voters. Both these groups would be fundamental for both Trump and Biden respectively even among the wider population.

More focused campaigning

Where the Biden campaign saw increased results among Latino voters came in states like Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania. All key swing states for his victory in the US presidential election where Biden received nearly three quarters of the Hispanic vote. The Biden campaign was criticized for not targeting this demographic with direct advertising something they made up for they say when funds became available according to the New York Times. However, the numbers overall weren’t much different to Clinton’s performance in 2016 but younger Latinos turned out in greater numbers helping Biden to turn Arizona.

The Biden campaign lost ground among this bloc of voters in the Rio Grande Valley and Southern Florida. In Texas Biden did well with Hispanics in Houston and San Antonio but lost ground to Trump in the border areas. According to interviews with CNN this was down to talk of defunding the police which doesn’t resonate in a community where many families have members who work in the Border Patrol. Also, that Democrats are accused of not doing much for this community taking their vote for granted.

In Florida, as elsewhere, the Biden campaign tried to get out the Latino vote with messaging on how Trump’s failure on tackling the coronavirus pandemic was affecting their community disproportionately. But Trump’s and the Republican’s more religiously conservative and family values message attracted increased support in this bloc.

In elections to come neither party will be able to ignore this bloc as its numbers swell even more. However, this group can’t be treated as a single bloc that will respond to a single message.