Would a Less-Nativist Republican Have Won in 2020?

“To the extent that exit polls can be believed, Trump got a thumping 45 percent of Florida’s Latino vote, an 11-point improvement over his 2016 performance. This is squarely because 58 percent of the Sunshine State’s sizeable Cuban American community in the populous Miami-Dade County voted for him, an improvement of four points from last time. This cut Joe Biden’s overall county-wide lead to merely seven points, in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s 30-point one.

Why did Biden lose ground with these groups? One reason is that Trump successfully associated Biden with socialism, and raised the specter that the Democrat would turn America into the countries they’d escaped. In one masterstroke of microtargeting, Trump invited Fabiana Rosales, the wife of an imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leader, to the White House and then used the video with her to woo the community. Meanwhile, Biden took the Latino vote for granted and did little to refute this branding, even as political commentators like Linda Chavez, a conservative who opposed Trump, were sounding the alarm telling him to wake up. Biden could have also done more to point out that Trump had rejected half the asylum petitions of Cubans and Senate Republicans five times in 18 months spurned efforts to extend the Temporary Protected Status for undocumented Venezuelans. If these communities had been more aware of Trump’s record, they might have been less inclined to support him in such numbers. It was missed opportunity on Biden’s part.”

“By contrast, the states where Latinos came through in decisive numbers for Biden—and against Trump—were ColoradoNevada, and Arizona. Colorado was an early win for the vice president. Nevada was a squeaker. And Arizona has yet to even be called by The New York Times. In all three, preliminary reports suggest upwards of 70 percent of Hispanics voted for Biden. Why in such large numbers? Because unlike Florida, Hispanics in these states tend to come from Mexico or Central America. And unlike Texas, they tend to be immigrants or first-generation. Hence Trump’s rhetoric and policies directly threatened them, especially in Arizona, which has long been Ground Zero for the restrictionist movement and where Trump’s interior enforcement policies have hit the Hispanic community hard.” 

“Trump had plenty of restrictionist plans ready to go for his second term, he simply chose to de-emphasize them on the stump. Top aide Stephen Miller had already cued up a series of executive orders to further limit grants of asylum, punish and outlaw “sanctuary cities,” expand the travel ban to include more countries, require even more extreme vetting for visa applicants, and impose new limits on work visas. As if that wasn’t ambitious enough, he was also planning to act on a perennial item on the ultra restrictionist wish list by using an executive order to end birthright citizenship, forcing the matter to the Supreme Court.

But he didn’t campaign on those plans. In fact, he barely mentioned them. This was in sharp contrast to his first campaign” 

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