Why is the Latino vote so important in the US elections?

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The Latino vote has gained great strength in the 2020 United States elections and could be decisive in the results.

The Latino vote in the 2020 United States elections could be of great importance, because although Hispanics have become increasingly stronger, this year in particular they could make a difference in the voting, and in La Verdad Noticias we explain why .

How every four years Hispanics in the US are going to be key in the country’s presidential elections. And although its weight has been felt in the last races for the White House, in this 2020 the prediction seems truer than ever. It is very likely, in fact, that it is the vote of this community that ends up defining who gets the keys to the Oval Office.

In the US, according to Census figures and updates from the Pew Research Center, there are 60 million Hispanics, making them the largest minority in the country and equivalent to 18 percent of the population.

Despite this, and for various reasons, Hispanics have always been underrepresented at the electoral level. For two reasons. The first is because half of its population cannot vote. At least 20 percent of them are not citizens and another 30 percent of them are under 18 years of age. Figures that put them at a disadvantage compared to Americans, since more than 65 percent are eligible to vote.

And the second is that among those who can, the percentage of those who eventually do so has also been historically low (50 percent or less) compared to whites or African-Americans, communities that typically reach 70 percent or less. more.

Latinos already participate more in US elections

But that has started to change in the last two decades. According to a recent study by the Pew Center, in this 2020 election, Hispanics represent 13.3 percent of the total universe of people eligible to vote. Double if compared to the figures of the year 2000, when they only represented 7 percent, and the first time in history that they constitute themselves as the largest minority with the possibility of voting.

“In the US, according to Census figures and updates from the Pew Research Center, there are 60 million Hispanics”

This has been due in part to the exponential growth of the population with the ability to vote in the last 20 years and which has been marked by minorities.

Between 2000 and 2018, the electoral share in the US has expanded by 20 percent: out of 190 million who could vote at the beginning of the century, there are now 235 million who will now. And 75 percent of that growth has been driven by non-white voters, primarily Hispanics. In other words, among the 40 million of those new voters, nearly 15 million are Latino.

Much of that demographic and electoral change has been triggered by the coming of age (18 years) of the children of immigrants who were born in the United States and by the naturalization of many of their parents.

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While these figures are surprising, the true impact of Hispanics in the elections is in the states where they have been concentrated. Particularly in a set of states that can tip the balance in the 2020 elections and many of those that come from now on.

That is clear, for example in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina, states that are considered essential to the electoral aspirations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In Arizona, for example, Hispanics already represent 25 percent of the electoral share, an increase of 8 percent since 2000 to the detriment of the white vote, which has fallen by almost that same proportion.

In Florida, a state that is considered almost vital in the US elections, the Hispanic vote has grown 9 points, from 11 percent at the beginning of the millennium, to 20 percent in 2020.

Historically, the Hispanic vote in the US has always favored Democrats. On average, over the past two decades, 63 percent have favored this party and 30 percent have favored Republicans. But it is a difference that fluctuates in each electoral cycle, it depends a lot on the state that is looked at and the origin of the community.

People of Puerto Rican origin, for example, or Mexican origin tend to be more Democratic (65 percent and 59 percent respectively) while among Cubans, 57 percent support Republicans (according to the Pew Center study).

Things are not looking good for Joe Biden

According to a new poll by the Center for Voter Participation, Voto Latino, and Decisiones Latinas – three organizations that monitor the political environment in this group of voters – about 60 percent of Hispanics would be leaning towards Biden while 40 percent would do it for Donald Trump. A drop of 7 percentage points since February this year, when the same measurement was made.

Although the difference is still great and no one believes that the current president has a chance to beat his rival in this community, the margins have been reduced to almost historical levels and could be enough, if maintained, to give Trump the victory in the next November elections.

In recent weeks, the Democrats’ campaign has refocused on the Hispanic community, especially in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. But no one knows if the effort will be enough to stem the decline in the few days it takes for the presidential elections.

And it is not clear what impact the expansion of the Latino vote that has taken place in recent years will have on the elections. What if there is no doubt is that Hispanics will play an almost stellar role in defining the winner of the contest.


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