Things That Matter

The Presidential Election Is Still Too Close To Call But Here Is How Latinos Voted

The 2020 presidential election is days from being projected. Millions of mail-in ballots are left to be counted in the key states of Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. However, states with large Latino populations have been called and Latino voters were all over the map. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Latino vote in Florida, Texas, and Arizona.

First, it is important to note that the Latino vote is not a monolith.

There is no unified message to give to the larger Latino community. Latinos if different states and from different background have different issues they care about. Cuban-American voters in Florida are much more conservative than other Latino voters in the rest of the country. There is also a generational divide and gender divide that further separates Latino voters on party line. That was clear last night.

Cuban voters in Florida turned out for President Trump.

In Florida, 55 percent of Cuban voters went for President Trump, according to NBC News. Thirty percent of Puerto Ricans and 48 percent of “other Latinos” also voted for President Trump in the battleground state. President Trump improved on his numbers in Miami-Dade County with almost 200,000 more votes than in 2016. Meanwhile, Joe Biden lost support in Miami-Dade County shedding almost 11,000 votes from Hillary Clinton’s total for the county four years ago.

There are multiple factors at play here. First, President Trump aggressively chased the Latin American voters in South Florida. Venezuelans were proud to see President Trump pictured with Lilian Tintori. Tintori is the wife of the Venezuelan opposition folk hero Leopoldo López. Second, President Trump stoked fears within the Cuban-American community that a Biden administration would usher in a Socialist government similar to Cuba.

President Trump’s efforts were amplified and assisted with a disinformation campaign that turned Cuban voters further from Democrats. There was an infamous moment when an insert in the Miami Herald featured anti-Semitic and racist language during the Black Lives Matter protests. These moments offered the Trump campaign a perfect storm to court Cuban and Venezuelan voters in South Florida. The president’s relentless rally schedule in South Florida further drove Latinos of all backgrounds closer to Trump with different margins. However, the Cuban-American community is the only group where the majority support President Trump.

In Texas, fewer Latinos voted for Biden than did for Clinton in 2016.

Latinos voted for Biden with a 19 point spread, 59-40. However, that number is way down from the 27-point lead that Hillary Clinton had with Latino voters in Texas in 2016. President Trump managed to improve on his number of Latino voters in Texas substantially.

The trend of lost Democratic support was visible in different counties as well. Beto O’Rourke ran a wildly popular campaign against Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterms. However, Biden was unable to capitalize on O’Rourke’s gains and lost counties O’Rourke carried in 2018.

The stunning exception to last night’s trends was Arizona.

Latinos showed up at the polls in Arizona and came together to flip the state for the Democrats. President Trump won the state in 2016 by less than 4 points. Maricopa County, which elected Joe Arpaio as sheriff, flipped from Republican to Democrat to help deliver Biden a win in The Copper State.

Clinton won 61 percent of the Latino vote in Arizona in 2016. Biden, according to early numbers, ran up the count with Latino Arizonans and secured 70 percent of that vote. Arizona is a Latino and immigrant state and the stunning victory shows the discontent within the state where the Latino community has been attacked and Covid-19 has been devastating.

Arizona was home to Sheriff Arpaio who implemented racial profiling against Latino Arizonans. The policies and practices by Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office terrorized Latinos and they remembered. President Trump made a show of pardoning former Sheriff Arpaio after being found guilty of criminal contempt. Former Sheriff Arpaio violated a court order to cease and desist his crackdown on undocumented immigrants because of racial profiling.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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The Florida Law That Resulted In Trayvon Martin’s Death Is About To Be Expanded In A Big Way

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The Florida Law That Resulted In Trayvon Martin’s Death Is About To Be Expanded In A Big Way

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Florida already has one of the nation’s most far-reaching “Stand Your Ground” laws but the state’s governor wants to take it a step further: allow people to shoot looters and anyone suspected of rioting or being part of a mob.

DeSantis says the move is in response to an increase in crime across the state and to the ongoing nationwide protests that have resulted in occasional property damage and violence.

However, most experts agree that laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law should be weakens or eliminated, since evidence shows that these laws can actually lead to an increase in violence and homicides.

Florida’s governor wants to expand the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) is looking to amend the state’s “stand your ground” law, to make it one of the nation’s broadest. His amendments to the legislation are part of his “anti-mob” legislation, which are supposed to target people accused of illegal acts during riots and looting.

But critics rightfully worry that expanding the already dangerous law, would empower people to use violence and deadly force during chaotic and tense confrontations at protests.

The timing is also suspicious, considering the move is coming as part of an aggressive agenda following months of large-scale racial justice protests across the country.

Under Florida’s current law “a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if … he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

DeSantis wants to expand this law to include “criminal mischief that results in the interruption or impairment of a business operation; arson that results in the interruption or impairment of a business operation; and any other felony.”

Democrats are already pushing back strongly against the proposed amendment.

Credit: Saul Loeb / Getty Images

Legislators, attorneys and others call DeSantis’ proposal “racist,” “dangerous” and “extreme.”

In a recent Miami Herald article, Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County County prosecutor who had handled “Stand Your Ground” cases said, “It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions.. It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

In the same article, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, said the governor’s draft bill “sounds like an invitation to incite violence.”

The law gained national attention following the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Credit: Ted Soqui / Getty Images

In 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed by a man who claimed the “Stand Your Ground” defense and his story shocked the country. The 17-year-old teen was unarmed and chased by George Zimmerman which resulted in a physical altercation.

Although Martin was unarmed and not guilty of any crime – he was returning home from a quick walk to a convenience store – his killer was found not guilty thanks to the state’s strong “Stand Your Ground” law.

So-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws are becoming more common across the country.

Nearly three dozen states are “stand your ground” states, including 27 which have explicit laws saying so. They have been expanded over the past ten years as more states follow Florida’s lead.

A 2018 RAND Corporation review of existing research concluded that “there is moderate evidence that stand-your-ground laws may increase homicide rates and limited evidence that the laws increase firearm homicides in particular.” In 2019, RAND authors indicated additional evidence had appeared to reinforce their conclusions.

And although Florida’s legislature remains firmly in Republican control following this year’s election, it’s unclear whether DeSantis will find a sponsor for his proposed amendments.

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Both Parents Of 4-Year-Old Texas Boy Die Within Months Of Each Other From Covid

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Both Parents Of 4-Year-Old Texas Boy Die Within Months Of Each Other From Covid

GoFundMe

There has been positive news about vaccines for Covid-19. However, the virus is still raging in the U.S. and causing avoidable deaths. A story out of Texas is highlighting the threat of Covid still today after a mother and father dies leaving behind a soon-to-be 5-year-old.

The parents of a 4-year-old boy in San Antonio died from Covid months apart.

Adan and Mariah Gonzalez are two of the more than 240,000 Americans who have died of Covid. The tragic deaths of Adan and Mariah, months apart, left 4-year-old Raiden Gonzalez alone as his birthday and holiday season near.

“Sweet Mariah Gonzalez left the world this morning unexpectedly due to COVID 19  She joins her husband and best friend, Adan Gonzalez who recently passed due to COVID-19,” reads a GoFundMe set up to help Raiden. “They leave behind their beautiful 4-year-old son Raiden who loves his parents more than anything. Mariah’s bubbly personality, amazing teaching and makeup skills, her joy of motherhood, and beautiful smile will be so beyond missed.”

Raiden’s story is highlighting the growing toll of the worsening health crisis.

The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 cases every day for the past 12 days. These numbers are breaking records for most infections in one day. Texas has seen a recent spike in Covid cases, along with all U.S. states but Texas was the first state to cross the grave milestone of 1 million cases. Despite the increase, Texas officials have not moved to reinstate restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

“Seeing the good data [in late summer] seemed to send a signal that we were in the right direction and we were in the clear,” Angela Clendenin, an epidemiologist at Texas A&M University told WFAA. “And I think people lost their vigilance.”

This virus is still running rampant in the U.S. and cases are spiking, as predicted.

Experts are urging Americans to be safe and smart this holiday season. The holidays are posing a very real risk of an explosion in new cases if people don’t adhere to guidelines. Health experts have come out strongly against indoor, in-person gatherings for the holidays to get control of the virus.

“My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS News. “I would love to have it with my children, but my children are in three separate states throughout the country and in order for them to get here, they would all have to go to an airport, get on a plane and travel with public transportation.”

Raiden’s birthday is Nov. 28 and his family wants to give him the best one possible.

The GoFundMe page includes the information for anyone wanting to attend the “Roar and Wave” birthday party. There is also an address included for anyone who wants to help Raiden celebrate with gifts and cards.

“He likes dinosaurs, he likes monster trucks, he likes Hot Wheels,” his grandmother and caretaker Rozie Salinas told NBC News. “But being that he picked the dinosaur theme for his birthday, he really liked it.”

READ: New Covid-19 Lockdowns Are Coming To Parts Of The U.S. And Here’s What You Need To Know

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