Latino Voters Were Decisive in 2020 Presidential Election

A new report by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative shows that Latino voters were decisive in sending President-elect Joe Biden to the White House. Researchers analyzed votes cast in 13 states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin — that collectively are home to about 80% of the Latino electorate. Researchers estimated that nationwide Latino voter turnout increased 30.9% compared with the 2016 presidential election. Among voters of all races, turnout was 15.9% greater. The impact of the growing Latino electorate was evident in battleground states. In Arizona, where Latinos represent 25.2% of all registered voters, the electorate’s size and turnout helped secure Biden’s victory. Even in Wisconsin and Georgia, where Latinos make up less than 5% of registered voters, their strong support of the Democratic candidate helped tip the scales to victory by margins of less than a single percentage point. The report also provides context for a prominent post-election talking point. Many observers said that results in Miami-Dade County, Florida — where Trump got support from a majority of Latino voters — was evidence of a wider Latino swing toward the president. Trump did win the state, but the UCLA report found that in all Florida counties outside of Miami-Dade, Latino voters favored Biden by a margin of 2 to 1. By looking at votes cast and demographic data at the precinct level, the report offers a more accurate analysis of the impact of Latino voters than other studies that have relied on exit polls, which do not capture enough Latino voters.

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