A wave of mass Latino vote delivered a narrow victory to Florida’s President Donald Trump with 51.2% , raising his chances of winning the U.S. election on Wednesday.
Not only do they use “Latino vote” in the United States to refer to voters of Latin American or Hispanic origin, but they also use “black vote” to refer to African-American voters and “white vote” for those who identify themselves as such.
The United States has been imposing categories for decades, and in the case of Latinos, experts warn that behind the generic “Latino vote” there is a wide diversity of people from different backgrounds distributed across the country’s vast geography.
Trump, who won the state in 2016, improved his margins from four years ago among Hispanic voters, who make up 19% of the state’s electorate. Much of that turnaround had its origin in Miami-Dade, the county that is home to most of Florida’s Cuban and Venezuelan communities, many of whom strongly oppose leftist policies.
Trump and his co-religionists often described moderate Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a socialist or a “radical left” politician. Some voters in Miami said these factors were key.
Trump also claimed a Latino endorsement that used to belong to the Democrats in Texas with 52.2%, according to the results. Even at that time, it was not clear how these trends would affect the race for the presidency, which remains undefined, but Biden would be the new tenant of the White House for the next term.
Nationally, Trump had a higher proportion of support from non-white majority voters compared to 2016, according to exit polls by Edison Research, offsetting the decline among white groups in relation to his campaign against Hillary Clinton four years ago.
U.S. Hispanic Community
60.6 million people of Latino/Hispanic origin living in the U.S.
18% of the country’s population.
32 million are eligible to vote this November 3rd.
8 out of 10 Latinos registered to vote to do so.
Pew Research Center and the United States
Every four years, too, candidates devise strategies to attract the so-called “Latino vote” by using, for example, Spanish in propaganda messages.
This year, support for Trump among all Latinos in the U.S. rose by three points, and 15 points among seniors, while it jumped by 11 points among African-American voters between the ages of 30 and 44.
The surge in support among Latinos occurred despite Trump’s tough stance on immigration and the way his administration handled asylum policies, a crucial issue for his Republican administration.
“The increase in the Latino vote for Trump is real and it’s happening all over the country,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Twitter Tuesday night.
Biden can win the election with victories in other states. If he loses, some of the blame can be attributed to his lack of participation among Latino voters, said Jaime Regalado, professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles.
“He just wasn’t there,” Regalado said. “He didn’t spend much time trying to win the Latino vote in the last two weeks of the campaign. This could end up being a big mistake.
There are 32 million people of Latino origin who have the right to vote, a figure that is almost equivalent to the population of Peru.
This is a record number and is expected to be the first time in history that Latinos constitute the largest racial or ethnic minority in the U.S. electorate at 13.3% (surpassing African Americans).
And every four years, the expectation of how crucial the Latino vote will be in choosing the next president re-emerges.
This time, experts agree that one must be alert to what happens in states with large Hispanic populations, such as Texas, Arizona and Florida, considered key sites that could tip the balance on either candidate, Donald Trump or Joe Biden.
But after each election the analysis of the results tends to be the same: that Latinos “didn’t show up” to the polls as expected, accentuating the nickname they have earned unwittingly: sleeping giant.
The reality is that for a long time Latinos presented a changing pattern when voting. They did not necessarily vote for the same party. For example, they could vote for a Democrat for governor and a Republican for senator.
The Republican Party’s approach to the state’s less prominent role in society’s affairs and belief in conservative and religious values are some of the elements that attract Latino voters to the state.
In contrast, the Democratic Party’s approach is for government to ensure accessible job and educational opportunities, generating more affinity among other Hispanic voters.