Democrats remain the preferred choice of an increasingly less monolithic collective
The Hispanic community represents the largest racial minority in the United States and will go to the November 3 elections with more potential voters than ever: some 32 million people. Mobilization continues to be the great challenge for a group that begins little by little to ask for a voice in an ‘establishment’ where it is still underrepresented.
The Hispanic population grew to 60.6 million people in 2019, 18 percent of the total population – two points more than in 2010 and 13 more than in 1970. For the first time, in the next elections they will be the most representative minority of the electorate, with 13 percent of the total, according to the Pew Research Center.
The electoral system in the United States, where the distribution of power among the different states somewhat eclipses the popular vote, also diminishes the possible effect of a minority concentrated mainly in five states. Only California had a quarter of the Latino electorate in 2018, followed by Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona.
In addition, Hispanics have traditionally been a group with little political involvement, something that is changing “little by little”, in the words of the president of the Hispanic Council, Daniel Ureña. In the 2018 legislative elections, his vote set a new record, but “there is still a long way to go.”
“Not only from participation at the polls, but from direct involvement in public office. In this sense, the Hispanic community is underrepresented,” he acknowledges in statements to Europa Press. Not in vain, no Latino has managed to place himself among the favorites of the primaries for the big games.
The growing involvement in political issues would be derived from the change in the profile of a group where four out of every five people are already full citizens of the United States. 41 percent of adults have attended college, while 71 percent of those over the age of five speak English fluently – in 2000 only 59 percent spoke it.
A DEMOCRATIC PROFILE, BUT NOT “MONOLITHIC”
Statistics show that the Hispanic community has traditionally voted on the Democratic side, something that became palpable in 2012, when 71 percent voted in favor of Barack Obama’s reelection as president of the United States. Four years later, Hillary Clinton also dragged the Latino vote, albeit less, with 66 percent support.
A recent poll published by NBC News, ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and Telemundo puts the level of support for the current Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, at 62 percent. Only 26 percent have decided since they will vote in favor of Republican Donald Trump, who aspires to continue four more years in the White House.
The data, however, hides greater support for Trump from Latinos over 40, where the current president would obtain a 35 percent support, compared to the 53 percent received by Biden, according to this poll.
Ureña anticipates that, after the lower support achieved by Clinton regarding Obama, “in these elections the same thing can happen.” “From Spain we see the Hispanic electorate as a monolithic bloc whose main concern is immigration, but this analysis does not correspond to reality,” he adds, warning that it would be “a great mistake” for the Democratic Party to take support for granted.
In this sense, he points out that the issues that concern them “are the same as those of the rest of the voters,” as shown by a Pew Research Center survey that places the economy as the main concern of the Hispanic community (80 percent), one point above even the average for the general population.
Health care, the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality round out the top spots, while immigration, one of the great emblems of Trump’s 2016 campaign, doesn’t appear until eighth, identified as concern by 59 percent. of the people interviewed – seven points more than the average.
“The immigration issue, despite being highly mediated, has not generated the electoral movement that many expected,” says Ureña, in whose opinion “the economic situation and the management of the pandemic may currently be the two most important issues for the country and for the Hispanic community in particular. “
In fact, he adds, “we must not forget that, with Trump, unemployment among Hispanic citizens reached historic lows and the income of the Hispanic community grew a lot.” “If the economic recovery continues during the next few weeks it will be an important argument for Hispanic voters,” he explains.
The Hispanic vote could be key in states where the balance has not finished turning and where it is c