SAN ANTONIO – After the counting is over, political analysts will likely study how many Latino voters cast ballots during the presidential election, a constituency that for years has had a low voter turnout.
Henry Flores, a longtime political scientist and professor emeritus at St. Mary’s University, said data he’s seen indicates a large percentage of Latinos have been voting early.
“Actually, where Latinos predominate — Texas, California, Arizona, for instance,” Flores said.
He said Latinos also represent a large enough slice of the electorate in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New York, that depending on how they vote, “They could be the determining vote in almost every one of those states.”
Flores said preliminary data that he’s seen shows 30% of Latino voters support President Trump, which is comparable to past support for other Republican presidential candidates.
“I don’t think there’s a lessening of support, but I don’t really see it increasing for President Trump,” Flores said.
He said four issues are resounding with Latino voters: the President’s managing of the coronavirus pandemic, the state of the economy, jobs and the uncertainty over their insurance coverage under Obamacare, Medicare, or Medicaid.
“Because he seems to be associated with all of that, Latinos are voting against him because of that,” Flores said.
But not Johnny Delgado, an electrician and business owner who is among “Latinos for Trump,” who voted for him in 2016.
“Everything he’s done has actually been beyond what I ever expected him to do,” Delgado said, especially in terms of the economy.
The Joe Biden campaign is promoting what it believes the vice president can do for Latinos with its Todos con Biden policy that includes many of the issues now working against the president’s bid for re-election.
Flores said thanks to more voter registration efforts nationally, many more Latino voters are choosing between the two candidates.