This year, 32 million people of Latin American descent are eligible to vote, representing 13 percent of the electorate and surpassing the number of Black voters for the first time. That represents just over half of the 60 million Latinx people in the United States.
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In 2016, voter turnout in the Latinx community was less than 50 percent; Clinton won the vote by 66 to 28 percent.
Nationally, Latinx voters are worried about three main issues: healthcare, jobs, and police brutality. This third point is significant – it’s the first time policing has taken on such importance for the voting bloc and it is a direct consequence of the renewed focus on police killings and racism since the brutal murder of George Floyd in late May.
Regarding their living conditions, 11 million Latinxs don’t have healthcare. Latinxs are 2.8 times more likely to get COVID-19 and 1.1 times more likely to die from this disease.
At least 38 million Latinx are either in poverty or are low income. These figures explain why healthcare and jobs are the top two issues for the Latinx community.
But what about immigration? One would expect that to be a priority for Latinx voters; the fact that it doesn’t show dissatisfaction with both parties.
The Democrats promised immigration reform when Barack Obama was first elected, instead we got the deporter-in-chief. Donald Trump hasn’t deported as many people, but the rhetoric is inflammatory and treatment of migrants at the border and in detention centers is worse.
Joe Biden is leading the Latinx vote 63 to 29 percent, but he’s doing worse than both Clinton and Obama with this key bloc. However, as the Latinx share of the vote increases, it’s turning predominantly Republican states into states where democrats have a chance of winning.
Trump’s message of anti-socialism hasn’t had an impact on Latinx voters in Texas and Arizona, two states with big Latinx populations he won in 2016, but which Biden has a chance to win next week.