Trump Appeal to Hispanics in 2020 Broader Than Most Thought

Written by Jonathan Davis

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

A new analysis has found that Donald Trump actually did better among Latinos in 2020 than previously thought, meaning his ‘America First’ appeal to all voters and all demographics is a roadmap for future GOP presidential and congressional candidates if they want to continue making progress in widening the Republican Party tent.

Fox News reported:

Democrats touted their focus on increasing turnout among minority voters for the 2020 elections, but Latino voters with low involvement in politics shifted toward Trump, according to a new report from Equis Labs, which describes itself as focused on the “Latinx community.”

“Trump gains seemed to be unique among those identifying as Latino across geography and place of origin,” the researchers wrote.

Trump also “galvanized” conservative Latinas, while liberal Latinas lost enthusiasm about voting, according to the report.

Equis Labs, which is Democrat-aligned, put forth a number of theories as to why Trump appealed to more Latino voters during the recent election cycle including “dog whistle politics & racial status anxiety,” as well as “activation around religion, SCOTUS, and QAnon.”

“Neither party should assume that a Hispanic voter who cast a ballot for Trump in 2020 is locked in as a Republican going forward,” the researchers wrote. “Nor can we assume this shift was exclusive to Trump and will revert back on its own.”

According to exit polling, Latinos went for Biden by a 2-to-1 margin, but Trump’s garnering of one-third of them marked an increase from 2016 — and this for a presidential candidate with a demonstrated ‘tough on illegal immigration’ record.

“The 2020 elections were a reminder of the diversity— including ideological diversity— of Latino voters. The results of 2020 challenge some facile assumptions about the Latino vote, and speak to the dangers of taking an overly simplistic view of any demographic group in the electorate,” the report states.

“Latinos were a critical part of the Democratic coalition that won the WH & Senate. There are several states that Joe Biden and Senate Democrats won with the help of Latino voters, and there are none they lost because of them,” the report continued.

“Still, Trump & the GOP actively campaigned for the Latino vote and made gains that cut across geography & place of origin. In South Florida, the gains were enough to flip congressional seats. But questions remain about the nature of the shift, which will take yet more time to unpack… In 2020, a segment of Latino voters demonstrated that they are more “swing” than commonly assumed.”

Before the pandemic and the economic devastation it wrought thanks to widespread lockdown mandates, the Trump economy had produced tens of millions of new jobs, lowered unemployment to 3.4 percent, and lifted all boats.

In terms of the Latino demographic, Hispanic unemployment had already hit a record low by the end of Trump’s first year in office, 4.7 percent in December 2017, when the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent. And by October 2019, unemployment rates for Hispanics and blacks were lower still, CNBC reported:

The jobless rate for Hispanics hit a record low of 3.9% in September, while African Americans maintained its lowest rate ever, 5.5%.

The unemployment rate for Asian Americans was 2.5% in September. The jobless rate for adult women came in at 3.1%.

“The best numbers that we’ve ever had: African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Women, everything. We have the best numbers that we’ve had in many, many, many decades, ” President Donald Trump told reporters at the time.