“We should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.” — from There Is No One Story About Latino Voters: The results of last week’s midterm elections are good news for Latino voters, who should be viewed with more nuance by both parties, by Geraldo Cadava in The New Yorker, November 14:
In the spring of 2021, after months of analysis, a consensus emerged that Trump won thirty-seven or thirty-eight per cent of the Latino vote in 2020, rather than the twenty-seven per cent reported in the American Election Eve Poll or the thirty-two per cent reported by national exit polls. Today, most professionals have settled on the idea that exit polls aren’t definitive, and the only way to really know how Latinos voted is to wait for precinct-level results, which take time to analyze.…..
Governor Ron DeSantis won the Latino vote outright, and not only among anti-communists. He won sixty-eight per cent of the Cuban vote, but also fifty-five per cent of the Puerto Rican vote and fifty per cent of votes from “other Latinos” (Venezuelans, Colombians, Mexicans, etc.)…..
[The varied results from the November elections] display an image that’s more blurry than clear. That’s a good thing, if not for Republican or Democratic partisans then for Latinos. It shows that both parties have work to do in winning Latino voters, and should lead to more curiosity about Latinos, not as Republicans or Democrats but as a rapidly growing group of Americans. Democrats have argued that Latinos by and large support progressive policies, on issues that include reproductive rights, the cost of health care, climate change, and gun safety. Yet support for those policies hasn’t necessarily translated into votes. Democrats see this largely as a problem of messaging, but it would be a mistake for them to ignore how many Latinos are drawn to Republican support for American exceptionalism, charter schools, religious freedom, lowering taxes, and slashing financial regulations.
What would be most unfortunate is if Republicans and Democrats cherry-picked the results that favored their narrative the most, to help them argue that there’s no need to shift course and no lessons to be learned from what happened in 2022. If the current partisan narratives hold—that Latinos are moving back toward the Democratic Party (not universally true), or that Latinos are becoming Republicans (also not universally true)—the conversation two years from now will be the same as it has been for the past two years. Instead, we should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.
I have commented on the rise of the Hispanic electorate here, here and