The last few election cycles in 2020 and 2021 revealed the increased power of Hispanic voters in America. Hispanic voters helped former President Donald Trump win the states of Florida and Texas – and many of them remain big MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters. It is a growing trend that is only gaining steam. Here are 5 things to know about Hispanic voters increasingly voting MAGA.
While many assumed former President Donald Trump’s track record of calling immigrants rapists and murderers would cost him big among Hispanic voters, the opposite was true. He actually made gains.
“Trump kept it real,” 43-year-old Dominican immigrant Angel Castillo told The Economist. “He didn’t say all Latinos are rapists. He said a lot of those coming over the border are rapists and drug dealers and he’s right.”
Castillo isn’t the only one who feels that way. In 2020, Trump won 36 percent of the Hispanic vote in Passaic, New Jersey, where Castillo lives. This was up 14 percent from the 22 percent of Hispanic voters who supported Trump there in 2016.
According to Passaic’s Mayor Hector C. Lora, Trump is an inspiration to immigrants who come to America in search of the American Dream.
“Imagine coming to America from a poor country and seeing Trump’s name on a building!” Lora said, adding that Trump’s anti-lockdown stance during the pandemic further endeared him to working Latinos.
Like many white evangelicals, Hispanic evangelicals say the Republican Party aligns more with their religious beliefs.
“I don’t love the Republicans but my Christian values compel me to vote for them,” said Minister Hector Fernandez, 69. He added that he believes more than half of his congregation also supported Trump and the Republican Party in 2020.
An op-ed written by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow cites data from a report by the Pew Research Center that a majority of Hispanics identify as white racially when asked to separate it from the cultural aspect of their heritage.
Though there are Afro-Latinos – and many Hispanics are also victims of discrimination – there is also a sentiment of anti-Blackness in the Hispanic community which colors some of their political affiliations.
“When it came to how much attention was paid to racial issues in this country, a majority of Hispanics, understandably, said too little attention is paid to race and racial issues concerning Hispanics. A plurality also said that too little attention is paid to race and racial issues nationally,” Blow wrote. “But a plurality said too much attention was paid to issues concerning Black people.”
This is a resounding MAGA issue, which could also explain much of Hispanic support for the Republican Party.
“Immigrants used to come here to work,” Castillo said. “Now they come here and jump straight into government assistance, just like other races in this country.”
Though they are registered Democrats, Castillo said his entire immediate family have recently voted for Republicans.