Thursday, April 25, 2024

The complexity of the Latino vote

Last week the presidential election became historic; Kamala Harris became the first woman and person of color to be elected Vice President and President-elect Joe Biden marked a record with the most votes that a president of the United States has ever received. But what did this election unveiled about Latinos?

During this presidential election, for the first time, Latinos became the largest racial group eligible to vote with 32 million eligible voters. This exponential growth of Latino voters meant that a third of all eligible voters were nonwhite. The increase of Latino voters made an important difference during the election in states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Throughout the days that led the presidential election, we often heard the news made a reference to the Latino vote but is there such thing as the Latino vote?

According to CNN, no, because “a nationwide exit poll [showed] that Biden [received] 66% of Latinos votes [while] Trump picked up more Latino voters with 32% [in this election than] compared to 28% in 2016” said Nicole Chavez, a digital writer for CNN. Moreover, Chavez further added, that the Latino vote is more complex and diverse than people had thought.

In key states like Texas, Arizona, and Florida, Latino voters made a significant difference. Texas has seen an increase of Latino voters, and with that, an increase on democratic votes. In the 2016 presidential elections, the democratic party received 43% of votes in Texas compared to 46% in 2020. Even though, immigration has been a significant reason for Latinos to go out and vote, other important topics such as religion, economy, jobs, and covid-19  caused Latinos to participate in this election.

In another important state, like Arizona, the Latino vote was crucial in order for the state to become a democratic state instead of a republican as it was in the 2016 presidential election. The results of the showed that President- elect Biden won Arizona with a total of 49.5% of the votes which was an increased compared to only 44% of the votes in the 2016 presidential election. Furthermore, one of the main reasons for Latinos to go out and vote during this presidential election was SB 1070.  The law which was enacted in Arizona in 2010 enable the police to stop any person who “looked” undocumented. Since then more Latinos have come out to vote. When interviewed, Bash Herrera, a democrat, Mexican- American, and resident of Arizona, added that “people need and care about  having a good quality of life, it’s disproportionately people of color that don’t have those things, whether it’s health care or education or living wage”.

In Florida, 17% of all eligible voters were Latinos and Trump won this state by an increase of 3% since the last presidential election. The results showed a significant increase of Cuban- Americans who voted for Trump in this election. Their reasons mainly focus on their beliefs against socialism and communism. The Trump campaign often portrayed Biden as a communist and comparing him to dictators like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

There is no unified Latino vote, there are a lot of Latinos who vote. The Latino vote itself is complex due to the immense diversity that exists within the Latino community. Therefore, future candidates should take that diversity into account and reach out to all different types of Latinos.



  1. Jess Flores says

    Amazing article ! I completely agree, there wasn’t a united Latino vote. Yes there was definitely an increase in Latino voters but it wasn’t as united as it should have or what many people believed it will be. Despite Latinos being a huge target for the Trump Administration, the increase in Latino voters who voted for Trump from the 2016 election to this current election is concerning