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Despite racist statements before the 2020 US election: Why are Hispanics and Latinos voting for Donald Trump?

With the victory in Swing State Florida, Donald Trump secured important votes from 29 voters in the US presidential election. It is still unclear whether Trump will remain in office - but in any case he will do better than recently expected. And this - especially in Florida - the immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, the Hispanics, contributed their share. How is it that people vote for Trump, of whom the President has repeatedly painted a bad picture for years?

More about the 2020 US election

In total this year 32 million Latinos in the United Stateseligible to vote. They mainly play in states like Florida, Texas, Nevada and Arizona an important role. Your importance as voters has increased enormously in the past 20 years: According to the Pew Research Center, the number of all eligible voters in the USA grew by 40.3 million people between 2000 and 2018 - 39 percent of them were Hispanics.

Their share of all eligible voters is currently 13.3 percent, but traditionally they participate in elections less than other population groups, in 2016 with 48 percent.

Also read:US election 2020: projections and results at a glance

Many supporters of the Democrats

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of registered Hispanic voters have registered as Democrats to let. However, this is less than among blacks (83 percent) and Asians (72 percent).

"A majority of this group leans towards the Democrats, but Joe Biden is currently unable to match Hillary Clinton's approval ratings among Latinos," wrote Sarah Wagner, education officer at the Atlantic Academy of Rhineland-Palatinate, in a blog post on Monday.

Both Republicans and Democrats have targeted the Latinos with Spanish canvassing. One thing is clear: The voices of the Hispanics are hotly contested in the USA. And the Latinos are not a homogeneous groupbut people with completely different biographies and political views.

Socialism as an election issue

The Pew Research Center found out in 2018 that Eligible voters of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent rather with the Identify Democrats during a Majority of Cuban voters the Close to Republicans.

"It has evidently proven to be effective for Trump to conjure up socialism. That plays a major role, especially for Hispanics with Cuban or Venezuelan roots," said Sarah Wagner in an interview with our editorial team on the morning of the election.

Cubans in exile in particular form a large part of the Hispanics in Florida - including many people who have left their homeland because of socialism.

Trump scores with a conservative stance

Nevertheless, the question remains: Why do people affected by racism support a president who keeps being racist? "There is no easy answer to this," writes the New York Times.

Not only the Cuban and Venezuelan exiles in South Florida support him, but also evangelical Latinos and devout Catholics with Hispanic roots.

Even if they don't necessarily agree with his immigration policy, this is one of them, for example Republicans' conservative stance on abortion policy or same-sex marriage is important.

US election: economy as a major factor

But many Hispanic men who do not belong to any of these groups also speak out in favor of Donald Trump. From the perspective of some Democrats, “machismo culture” could be a reason, traditional gender roles and the image of masculinity that Trump embodies.

But pollsters see another reason: Jobs and the economy are most important to these men - far more important than immigration and racism.

"Many Hispanic men are focused solely on making a living and getting some economic advantage that they can pass on to their children," writes the New York Times.

And Before the Corona crisis, the US economy was doing comparatively well under Trump. According to the first polls, he was able to increase his share of the vote among male Latinos in 2020 from 32 (2016) to 35 percent. But even among Hispanic women, it increased from 25 to 28 percent.

Biden wins Arizona

In several states with many Mexican immigrants, however, Joe Biden prevailed: in New Mexico and California, but also in Arizona, which was traditionally Republican. Four years ago, the building of a border wall with Mexico was Donald Trump's central campaign topic.

As recently as January, Trump tweeted his joy that his survey values ​​among Hispanics had increased from 19 to 50 percent. "That's because they know the problem at the border better than anyone else. And they want security that can only be achieved with a wall."

According to the Pew Research Center, however, half of Latinos in 2018 found their situation to have worsened since Trump took office. Many of them were concerned about the threat of relatives and friends being deported.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, had promised in the last television duel of the current election campaign that he would support Naturalization of eleven million undocumented immigrants to use.

Not mobilized enough?

But his commitment may not have been enough: as early as May, more than 20 Latino politicians, lawmakers and activists said they were see no strategy Biden will use to mobilize Hispanic voters.

And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic MP in the House of Representatives with Puerto Rican roots, said in the early morning on Twitter: She had long warned that the Democrats are vulnerable on this issue.

All further information about the US election can be found in our live ticker.

Sources used:

  • Contribution by Sarah Wagner on the Atlantic blog: "Eyes on the election evening"
  • FAZ: "Will the Latinos save Trump?"
  • Conversation with Sarah Wagner
  • Pew Research Center: "The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Electorat"
  • Pew Research Center: "More Latinos have serious concerns about their place in America under Trump"
  • Politico: "Biden's Latino outreach is under fire: I can't tell what their strategy is"
  • The New York Times: "The Macho Appeal of Donald Trump"