(UnitedVoice.com) – Some Democrats and the media blame the Biden campaign for the growing rise in Hispanic support for the Republican Party. Activists and Democratic political operatives say that in 2020, the Biden team didn’t do voter outreach to the Hispanic community. As a result, Democrats lost historic numbers among Hispanics across the country.
However, the lack of voter outreach may not be the reason for the Democrat’s woes among Latinos. A transition could be underway. In Florida and Texas, President Trump and Republicans down-ballot increased the share of Hispanic voters. In the wake of the new revelation, the election results exposed that this diverse people group cares about many things, and immigration isn’t necessarily on the top of their list.
The Two Political Parties Jockey for Votes
For decades, the Democratic Party expected a reward for their support of illegal immigration. That may not be materializing the way they hoped it would. In the 2020 election, Republicans did not run on immigration reforms that would or would not give illegal immigrants legal status or a pathway to citizenship, and Democrats barely mentioned the issue.
In the early 2000s, Republicans advocated for an immigration reform policy that would curb the flow of illegal immigration. After Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss to then-President Barack Obama, Republicans decided they needed to attract Hispanics if they were ever going to win again. They concocted a plan that would allow illegal immigrants to apply for legal status to incentivize work in the United States. The carefully constructed strategy was supposed to be a golden ticket until it failed when conservatives didn’t go along with the program.
As illegal immigration became a serious talking point in elections up until 2016, Hispanics largely voted Democratic. However, there were developing signs that things could flip under the right circumstances.
Trump Changed the Dynamic
While Trump focused heavily on immigration in 2016, it became a non-issue in 2020. The issue was rarely discussed and was a backburner topic. Unexpectedly, Trump, and Republicans down-ballot, picked up Hispanic support in Florida and Texas and received overall higher votes across the country.
As the race was shaping up in the last days of the campaign, the political chattering class began picking up that Trump might do better with Hispanics than anyone thought was realistic. That’s despite the four years of Democrats labeling the president and his supporters as racist and anti-immigration.
Nationally, Trump increased the Hispanic vote by 4 points from 2016. In Florida, the president increased his share of the Hispanic vote by eleven points to 45% of the Hispanic vote. Along the Mexican border in Texas, he increased his share of the vote by six points for a total of 47%. Compounding the extraordinary results, twenty Texas counties that are majority Hispanic swung towards Trump by ten points or more.
Hispanics Vote Republican for Different Reasons Across the Country
The Hispanic community is large and highly diverse. Some come from oppressed socialist countries in Central and South America. Others come from Mexico, where corruption abounds and economic prosperity isn’t possible.
In rural Iowa, a Hispanic Republican candidate won a state legislature seat running on protecting the 2nd Amendment, pro-choice, and lower taxes. He didn’t talk about ethnic issues and appealed to Hispanics who valued hard work, a strong economy, and family values.
In Florida, the dominant issue among Cubans and Venezuelan’s was socialism. In Texas, many Hispanics work in the oil industry directly threatened by Biden’s acknowledgment he would end fossil fuels and destroy fracking. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) barely won re-election in what was considered a safe Democratic district. He said, “Defund police, open borders, socialism — it’s killing us.”
As Democrats continue to move farther left away from family values, public safety, and socialism, the inroads the party made with Hispanics could be in jeopardy. As Republicans demonstrated in the 2020 election, the opportunity exists to expand the party’s influence among this growing community that shares similar values but may just be discovering it.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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