Antonio Muñoz, a former policeman turned restaurateur, feels the political winds changing in his native Nevada, where part of the traditionally Democratic Latino community began to lean towards the Republican side facing the presidential elections in November.
“I voted Democrat in the last election, but this year I’m in a dilemma; I don’t know what to do, said the man at his colorful taqueria in Las Vegas.
Biden will likely seek re-election in November against the former Republican president Donald Trump, whom he defeated in 2020 and campaigned for his party’s nomination.
Despite facing several lawsuits for electoral irregularities and other accusations in court, Trump leads the Republican primary.
Initial polls also put him in Nevada ahead of Biden, who won the state by a margin. slightly different from the last election.
- Muñoz saw that the Democratic base in the city was still strong. “But I talk to friends who are in the middle like me, says the 48-year-old man, who predicts that the state will be the scene of an aggressive campaign by two parties competing for the Latino vote.
The Latino community is one of the fastest-growing in the United States.
“One in five Americans who will vote in this election is Latino,” explained Mark Hugo López, director of research on race and ethnicity at the Pew Research Center.
Although there are regional differences, such as Florida’s tendency to favor Republican candidates, the important Latino bloc has historically gone Democratic, but many are beginning to break with tradition.
In Texas, Trump covered and registered electoral advances between Latinos in 2020 compared to 2016, López recalled.
“Even in California (a Democratic enclave), a New York Times analysis showed a slight decrease in the percentage of Latinos who supported Biden over Hillary Clinton in 2016,” he said.
“It’s a very different picture, but it seems that the Republican candidates are like Trump. They scored with Latinos in places that are traditionally very Democratic in 2020.”
Although it is very early in the election race, the polls show that the Democratic administration has not changed.
“Joe Biden’s approval rating among Latinos remains low,” said López. Our latest figures show that in January, 65% of Latinos failed in their work, and 32% agreed with this.
With the rapid expansion of the Latino community, the new generation seems to be influencing this change.
“In a place like Nevada (…), there are many immigrants but also many Americans who are children of immigrant parents, as well as an increasing number of people who are third-generation Latinos,” said López. “And they tend to lean more toward the Republican side than other political groups. latinos”.
This is something that María Elena Castro, an activist of the NGO Mamás con Poder and recognized by the Democrats, notices at home when listening to her son and nieces talk about politics.
“Children don’t know much about the past—what their parents had to go through,” said the 51-year-old Mexican-American.
“Young Latino voters favor Republicans because of a lack of information.”
“Are we better?”
For Latinos, the economy and immigration issues are priorities. And they feel that, of the two, Biden’s government is at fault.
And this is where Republicans have room for action, said Jesús Márquez, a political consultant involved in the Trump campaign in Nevada.
Thousands of people arrive every day at the border to seek asylum, a situation that overwhelms the country’s already overcrowded immigration system.
As a result, Biden has been attacked from all sides, with the widespread perception that the Mexican border is out of control.
“That’s something that Latinos who have lived here for decades don’t like, because they feel that a lot of people are skipping their place in line,” Márquez said.
The issue has been at the center of the Republican campaign and a headache for Democrats, as has the widespread opinion that the economy is bad.
Concerns about keeping jobs and covering basic costs play an important role among voters, but according to the polls, this negative struggle over the state of the economy is even worse among voters.
“Los Latinos working class as a whole struggles with the high cost of living,” she recently said.
“Los Latinos ” remember what they were like during the administration of Donald Trump, which is recently.