“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 Colorado, Nevada, 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”
“The share of third-party/independent presidential voters plummeted by nearly four percentage points since 2016, from 5.7 to 1.8, while Joe Biden exceeded Hillary Clinton’s haul nationally by 2.6 percentage points and climbing steadily, as the populous blue states continue to pad his lead.
So while Michigan, for example, was delivering essentially the same results for Trump as four years ago, the Great Lakes State was subtracting 3.6 percentage points from third-party candidates, and adding 3.2 to Biden”
“Arizona has a similar story: down a combined 4.6 for the marginal names, up 4.3 for the Democrat; 92 percent E.V. All over the country, the president was able to bring out more of his voters, but with only a handful of exceptions was unable to expand on his core share of support by persuading fence-sitters to choose the Republican side.”
“There were 7.8 million third-party voters last time, and just 2.7 million this time, so any strong lean by the remaining 5 million-plus was always going to dwarf whatever impact partisans may attribute to “spoilers.””
“One of the biggest factors in a Hispanic voter’s political identity is how long his or her family has been in the United States. For instance, foreign-born Latinos and the U.S.-born children of Latino immigrants tend to be more Democratic than Latinos whose families have been in the U.S. for at least three generations. According to Latino Decisions’s election-eve poll, first-generation Hispanic Americans1 were 12 percentage points more likely than third- or higher-generation Hispanic Americans to support Clinton in 2016 (84 percent vs. 72 percent), although both groups strongly supported her over Trump.
“Many Latino Americans can trace their family history to before the United States was the United States,” says Melissa Michelson, a professor at Menlo College who studies Latino politics. (Specifically, 32 percent of Latino registered voters are third generation or higher, according to Pew Research Center’s 2019 National Survey of Latinos.) “And they have a very different perspective from folks who are closer to the immigration experience.”
Gary Segura, a co-founder and senior partner at Latino Decisions, sees both economic and cultural factors at play. First, higher-generation Hispanic Americans are likelier to be higher income, which nudges them toward the Republican side of the aisle. But their Hispanic identity also tends to be weaker. For instance, a 2017 Pew report found that only about one-third of self-identified Hispanics whose families have been in the U.S. for at least three generations had parents who took them to Hispanic cultural celebrations or who spoke often about their heritage while growing up, and relatively few live in predominantly Hispanic or Latino neighborhoods. According to that Pew report, Latinos are more likely than white or Black people to marry people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds — which means that Latinos with deeper family roots in the U.S. are also more likely to be of mixed ancestry. Simply put, the longer a Hispanic family has lived in the U.S., the likelier they are to have assimilated — and vote more like white Americans, who lean toward the Republican Party.”
“But here I am now, [and] it’s odd. I mean, I’m still, I can vote for centrist Democrats, but I’m too right of center. I’m definitely not progressive, but, I mean, there’s always overlap. I’ve always thought that the militarization of police has been a bad idea. The drug war has been catastrophic, as far as I can see. I think if states want to legalize [drugs], that’s up to them. I wouldn’t do it, but I’d even say psychedelics should be legal now. But it was weird because when I was at VMI, to [Republicans], I was a libertarian and then I worked with libertarians, and to them I was a statist cuck. You probably get this if you’ve been paying attention to right-wing stuff, but every libertarian agrees on two things: that there’s only one libertarian and it’s them.”
“Republicans on Capitol Hill are standing firmly behind Trump because GOP voters and GOP activists and elites are demanding that they do so. There just isn’t much room to break with the president of your party if close to 90 percent of voters in the party approve of him and many of those voters get their news from sources strongly supportive of that president.
Why are Republican voters and elites so strongly aligned with Trump? There’s not a simple answer, but I think identity — rather than ideology — is a big part of it. Trump is defending the identities of people who align themselves with the GOP, and this is a more powerful connection and reason to back him than pure ideological concerns. In defending Trump, conservative voters are really defending themselves.”