Joe Biden still won Latino voters overall. But as post-election data trickles in, Democrats are growing concerned. Trump’s notable gains weren’t limited to Miami's Cuban Americans or border-region Tejanos. Although Florida and Texas stood out for the notable shift, Puerto Ricans as far away as Philadelphia and Mexican Americans in Milwaukee drifted Trump-ward.
Trump improved his showing among Latinos by scaling back some of his immigration rhetoric and engaging in a sustained bilingual social media and TV ad campaign that courted Latinos based on place of origin, gender and religion.
But, in interviews with more than a dozen experts on Hispanic voters in six states, no factor was as salient as Trump’s blue-collar appeal for Latinos.
“Most Latinos identify first as working-class Americans, and Trump spoke to that,” said Josh Zaragoza, a top Democratic data specialist in Arizona, adding that Hispanic men in particular “are very entrepreneurial. Their economic language is more aligned with the way Republicans speak: pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, owning your own business.”
And then there’s the way the left spoke — or were framed by Trump’s campaign for speaking. Calls to “defund the police,” a boycott of Goya Foods and the threat of socialism turned off some Latino voters. And even using the term Latinx to describe Latinos in a way that’s gender-neutral only served to puzzle many Hispanics.
“About 97 percent of Latinos don’t say ‘Latinx,’” Zaragoza said, referring to a Pew Research poll on the subject. “We’re building strategies around young progressive activists and organizations — and they’re necessary and we appreciate what they do.
“But a lot of Latino voters are focused on ‘I’m a hardworking American trying to feed my family or build a business,’ and a lot of this language doesn’t speak to them.”...
“Let’s face it, ‘defund the police’ is just not the best slogan, especially in a place like Miami, where a lot of people work in law enforcement, or along the border of Texas, where Latinos are in Border Patrol,” said Jose Parra, founder of the consultancy Prospero Latino and a past adviser to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada....Parra, who dislikes the “defund” slogan but not its goal of stopping police violence, said Trump’s improved standing with Latinos amid the protests reflects a little-discussed problem in Hispanic communities: anti-Blackness. That’s an opinion held by other Latino commentators as well Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
What do they have in common? So far, all 12 House Dem losses have been to GOP women/minorities. https://t.co/NCde78H3pX— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 21, 2020