Trump’s Latino vote still strong

The Republican Party’s continuing support from Hispanic voters still surprises pundits. Should it?

Electoral College heavyweights Texas and Florida both went for Trump this week with plus-40% support from Latinos. This is not new. But people keep waiting for the Hispanic vote to shift given Trump’s comments about Puerto Ricans, Mexican and others. So what is going on?

Cover for 100 Questions and Answers About Hispanics and LatinosAlthough former Vice President Joe Biden won the Latino vote in those states, it was no landslide. NBC News reported “in Texas, 41% to 47% of Hispanic voters backed Trump in several heavily Latino border counties in the Rio Grande Valley region, a Democratic stronghold. In Florida, Trump won 45% of the Latino vote, an 11-point improvement from his 2016 performance.”

What is happening?

USA Today columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote, “Trump is the most anti-Latino president Americans have seen in nearly seven decades, since before we even started keeping track of the Latino vote in 1960. And yet, here we are, with his reelection hopes buoyed by stronger-than-expected support from Latino voters across the country.”

Navarrette wrote that the issue is not what Trump says, it is that Democrats do not appreciate the diversity and concerns of Hispanic voters. He attributed the surprise to outdated and insulting generalizations of who Hispanic voters are.

They are not as Catholic as the stereotypes suggest, they are split almost evenly on abortion, and their top issues are jobs, the economy and health care. The idea that Trump’s machismo appeals to Hispanic men falls on its face, Navarrette writes, because the engine of the voting bloc is Latinas.

Navarrette concludes: “Let’s stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with Latino voters. There is nothing wrong with us. We’re complicated, unpredictable and hard to characterize. But we’re not broken.

“It’s the political system that is busted, and that includes the choices that appear on the ballot. Going forward, if you want to understand us, a good first step is to not insult us.”

Start to improve your understanding with the quick read, “100 Questions and Answers About Hispanics and Latinos.” It is available from Amazon or the Front Edge Publishing bookstore.

This entry was posted in Hispanics and Latinos, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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