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.