According to 2020 Census data, there are 62.1 million Hispanics living in the United States. This group represents 18.9% of the total U.S. population, the nation’s second largest racial or ethnic group after non-Hispanic whites. By 2050, it is estimated the group will be 100 million and 26% of the population. From an election perspective, getting the Hispanic or Latino vote is getting increasingly important.
Per the Pew Research Center, the top states with the highest percentage of eligible Latino voters in 2020 wereNew Mexico (42.8%), California (30.5%), Texas (30.4%), Arizona (23.6%), Florida (20.5%), Nevada (19.7%), Colorado (15.9%), New Jersey (15.3%) and New York (14.8%). This is significant and has to some extent been ignored by the political parties. It is getting to a point though, where this voter group will gain more influence and power and that will be reflected in elections going forward. There will undoubtedly be more Hispanic candidates, potentially a vice-president, and eventually a president.
Traditionally, Hispanic voters have been treated as just another minority and expected to vote democratic. About 90% of blacks normally vote democratic, it was even higher for Obama, and is really the key voting bloc to democratic victories. The most any republican candidate has won of the black vote was Richard Nixon in 1972, who managed 18%. A democrat cannot win the nomination or the White House without the black vote.
Hispanic voters were a crucial part of Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the 2020 election. He won 65% of the vote to Donald Trump’s 32%. In the swing states of Arizona and Nevada, Hispanic voters made the difference for Joe Biden. Many votes are affiliated to local unions. In heavily urbanized northeastern states and in California, Biden secured overwhelming majorities among Hispanic voters, as has long been the case for Democratic presidential candidates.
In Florida, Trump earned strong support among Cuban and South American communities in Miami-Dade County and earned 46% of the overall Hispanic vote in Florida, much higher than his 35% showing in 2016. This shift occurred due to anti-socialist messaging by Trump’s campaign. In heavily Hispanic South Texas, Biden lost ground compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016, especially in rural counties, however he still carried the vote in the Rio Grande Valley by double digits and two-thirds statewide.
There is a sense that the democrats should no longer take votes from Hispanics for granted. Recent polls show Hispanics are increasingly moving towards the GOP and warming up to Trump. This could be the result of families struggling due to the skyrocketing cost of living from higher prices. Also, newly arrived illegals migrants are overrunning communities, putting a strain on resources. And Hispanic families might be turned off be the democrats woke agenda as they tend to have more conservative cultural values, being Catholics. Both the democrats and republicans will have to pay more attention to Hispanic voters in the upcoming 2024 elections. Democrats might be arrogant as they are used to winning the minority votes, but they should polish up their agenda and incorporate more value-added propositions for Hispanics. The republicans might be too ignorant as their key votes are coming from white voters, but they have an opportunity to grow their share of Hispanic voters significantly with the right message. 2024 will be the beginning of a new era in U.S. politics and from then onward, the Hispanic vote will not be ignored.