“What people don’t realize is that Hispanics are traditionally conservative people.”
By Frank McCaffrey
According to a new study conducted by the Democratically aligned research firm Equis Labs, former President Donald Trump succeeded in peeling away significant amounts of Latino support, and not just in conservative-leaning geographic areas.
The post-election analysis by Equis found that certain demographics within the Latino electorate had proved increasingly willing to embrace Mr. Trump as the 2020 campaign went on, including conservative Latinas and those with a relatively low level of political engagement.
Using data from Equis Labs’ polls in a number of swing states, as well as focus groups, the study found that within those groups, there was a shift toward Mr. Trump across the country, not solely in areas like Miami or the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the growth in Mr. Trump’s Latino support has been widely reported.
“In 2020, a segment of Latino voters demonstrated that they are more ‘swing’ than commonly assumed,” the report stated.
With issues such as immigration growing every day and the Hispanic population in the United States growing, as well. Latinos have become an important political group in this country. They’ve had incredible influence on a growing Hispanic population in America, and that group is somewhat persuadable as voters.
Maria Miller is National Coordinator for Latinos for America First, a conservative group of Hispanic Americans. She spoke with Americans for Limited Government this week about the shifting political landscape.
“I think that we kind of just helped raise awareness and made people feel that what was once frowned upon is now okay,” Miller said. “We make people felt more comfortable about coming out of the conservative closet as Hispanic Americans.
“What people don’t realize about Hispanics, is that we are traditionally conservative people. It’s about our value system.”
Latinos for America First hope to influence the 2022 election. Miller says it’s already showing signs of backing someone for the 2024 election.
“In the Miami, Florida area, the movement is growing really strong. We are a national organization, our Vice President and Chief of Staff and we’ve got directors in the Florida area and they’re all big [Gov. Ron] DeSantis supporters.”
While the number of conservative Hispanics is growing with Trump outperforming his 2016 showing among Latino voters, earning the support of about one in three nationwide, Joe Biden won those voters by a roughly two-to-one margin over all, according to exit polls.
All told, close to 17 million Latino voters turned out in the general election, according to a separate analysis published in January by the U.C.L.A. Latino Policy & Politics Initiative. That represented an uptick of more than 30 percent from 2016 — and the highest level of Latino participation in history.
Frank McCaffrey is News Director at Americans for Limited Government Foundation. Catherine Mortensen contributed to this story.