Trump’s Surprising Rise with Younger LatinX Voters
Patricia Garcia and Madeleine Chinery report on how the Trump campaign has put renewed energy into getting the support of LatinX voters in some closely contested states, including Nevada, making some headway even as he loses steam in other demographic oriented polling
Nicko Chavez, a Republican, says he’s going for Trump 2020 despite pushback among friends and on social media. Photo by Patricia Garcia
A History Reversing Itself
Historically, the Latinx community in America has leaned electorally towards the Democratic Party. This support still generally prevails, but its footing isn’t as solid as it used to be. In fact, according to recent polls, Republican incumbent Donald Trump is doing better than ever with this wide ranging population.
A compilation of recent polls indicates President Trump currently has the backing of 35 percent of Hispanic voters under the age of 45, significantly higher than the 22 percent from this group who backed him four years ago
Chavez is an 18-year-old Latino from Nevada who fits this mold. He has decided to vote to give President Donald Trump a second term.
“I wanted to vote this year because it’s true that every vote counts,” Chavez said. “Whether you feel that your vote is just one of millions, your vote still matters. I feel that voting is more important this year than it has been before, because 2021 could take a change for the worse or for the better. It depends on who wins and what gets implemented into our everyday lives.”
Chavez admits that the president is not the most perfect president. He has had his high and his low points, he said, with his worst moments being his behavior on social media, and his handling of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Not Convinced by Biden Supporters
Chavez said there are many people in his circles who have tried to convince him to vote for Trump and for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but he felt that Trump supporters had better points than Biden’s. People who tried to persuade him to vote for Biden, he said, didn’t have it in their best interests to explain why, except just to vote Trump out of office.
The Latinx community in the United States is extremely diverse; a multitude of different cultures, religions, and political beliefs. Additionally, they have become some of the most reliable voters, making them a lucrative demographic for both Republicans and Democrats.
According to recent polls in Arizona, a state that could decide the winner of the election, Trump is doing better with Latino men voters than Biden, but the former vice president leads by 34 points with Latina women.
The Unease of Social Media
Chavez thinks Democrats use social media to unfairly attack the president, with celebrity figures paving that path.
“They use the superstars of America, they use celebrities to talk bad on Trump,” he said. “In reality, it should just be between Biden and Trump. At the end of the day it’s not the celebrities who are running the country, it’s going to be either Biden or Trump.”
Chavez feels silenced because of his own political ideas, especially on social media, where he says it has become difficult and risky to share your beliefs, because you don’t know what turmoil will arise from doing so.
“[Democrats] see the main things that are wrong with [Trump] and use that against him. I don’t feel like I have any say in this,” he said.
Chavez also feels that it is not good to be so involved on social media when deciding who to vote for because of the many rumors that can circulate and cause issues. But he knows he understands the current world, and is confident in his beliefs and his vote.
In Nevada, Latinx voters, who make up almost one fifth of eligible voters, are crucial to any statewide campaign. No recent presidential candidate, besides Barack Obama in 2008, has won with a margin of more than 10 percentage points. During this campaign, union members, especially in the Las Vegas area, seem to have remained mostly behind Vice President Biden, while Latinx business owners and younger men have become increasingly split.