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Biden leads over Trump among Latino voters, survey finds

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads over President Trump among Latino voters going into the 2020 election. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden holds a commanding lead over President Donald Trump among Latino voters in Texas, with 66 percent planning to vote for Biden in comparison to 25 percent for Trump, according to a UH-Univision News poll released Sept. 29. 

The results reveal that Biden’s support among Latino voters in Texas is roughly in line with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s standing in the 2016 election, where she garnered 66 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit polls. 

Trump’s support among Latino voters has remained consistent, with 28 percent reported in 2016 and 25 percent in 2020, respectively. 

Latinos are projected to make up the largest group of non-white eligible voters in the upcoming election. The number of registered Latino voters who are likely to cast their ballot has grown since the previous presidential race and could make the difference in determining which candidate wins the presidential seat. 

“This (data) represents the growing importance, and power, of the Latinx vote in Texas,” said political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus. “Both parties will need to win over Latinx voters if they want to win Texas.” 

The majority of polled respondents in Texas perceive that Biden is building sufficient connections with Latino voters. Fifty-seven percent responded that Democrats are doing a “good job” reaching out to Hispanic and Latino voters, while 33 percent don’t care too much and 10 percent think that they are being hostile toward Latinos. 

On Trump’s engagement with Latino voters, 40 percent reported thinking that the president is hostile toward Latinos. 

“The Biden campaign has spent money on Spanish language ads in the Valley and the Democratic Party has been campaigning on the ground for months,” Rottinghaus said. “The Trump campaign has talked about the vote and has run ads in English describing how good the economy is in Texas.”

Registered Latino voters see the next president’s response to the coronavirus as the most important issue they want addressed, with 44 percent of respondents listing COVID-19 response as their top concern. Trump’s coronavirus response thus far has not been well-received, with 73 percent of survey respondents totally disapproving of his handling of the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic has had a disproportionately high mortality rate and economic impact on the Latino population, it doesn’t come as a surprise that COVID-19 treatment and tracing efforts are of high priority. 

“The economy is bad for everyone, but especially Latinx Texans. A bad economy hurts incumbents,” Rottinghaus said. “The pandemic combined with the President’s divisive rhetoric has cemented the gravitation of younger Latinx voters to the Democratic Party.”

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