Biden fell behind previous Democratic candidates in terms of the Latino vote in the now-contested Nevada and, most importantly, Florida, which was won on Tuesday by President Donald Trump.
Latinos were traditionally a Democratic voting bloc – that is, until this election cycle. Starr County in Texas, which is more than 95 percent Latino, emerged as the most notable example of this shift in voting demographics. In 2016, then-candidate Hillary Clinton won it by 79.1 points, while Barack Obama got 86.34 in 2012. This year, Biden barely clutched it from Trump with 52 points – a more than 25 percent drop for the Democrats.
results from starr county, texas, the most latino county in the united states (96% latino)
2020: biden+5 with >98% reporting
we are witnessing a dramatic and historic realignment pic.twitter.com/PxC7ofJYL7
— Thao Nguyen (@nguyenthevote) November 4, 2020
Biden’s critics attributed his underperformance in the states where Latinos were key voter demographics to the former vice president’s ground game, his rhetoric, and some cringeworthy attempts to sway voters.
Many of those disappointed with where the election stood on Wednesday morning were instantly reminded of the awkward moment when, out of the blue, Biden decided to play the Latin pop hit ‘Despacito’ on his phone to a Florida campaign event crowd.
Others recalled a no-less-infamous Democratic primary video of Biden telling a Latino immigration activist: “You should vote for Trump.”
This 👇🏽 lost Biden Florida. Biden literally telling Latino voters to vote for Trump right after internal papers leaked saying The Biden camp didn’t see Latinos as a path to victory & refused to call for an Abolishment of ICE as they sterilize women in concentration camps… ✊🏽🔥 pic.twitter.com/0N7RFWtDcf
— Terrence Daniels (Captain 🍀 Planet) (@Terrence_STR) November 4, 2020
Biden was accused of offering the Latino community only platitudes and nothing policy-wise, taking their support for granted.
I am shocked that 10 seconds of Despacito didn’t win Biden the Latino vote in Florida. Looking forward to Kier Starmer coming to Cheetham Hill and playing Punjabi MC’s knight rider theme to us pic.twitter.com/OGo3bVeLeJ
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) November 4, 2020
The reason Democrats are doing so poorly is because Hispanics shifted toward Trump in every state. Maybe playing Despacito on an iPhone was a bad strategy.
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) November 4, 2020
Curiously, supporters of Biden’s primary challenger Senator Bernie Sanders, a notable favorite of US Latino voters who “delivered” him the Nevada primary caucuses, gloated. They said their warnings about Biden’s Latino outreach had been ignored. “My next book is gonna be called ‘I told you so,’” tweeted Chuck Rocha, Sanders’ former senior adviser.
My next book is gonna be called “ I told you so”
— Chuck Rocha (@ChuckRocha) November 4, 2020
Shout out to everyone who pretended that Bernie's' strength with Latino voters was immaterial to his electability argument. https://t.co/dTyUYWjQBn
— BJG 👑 (@briebriejoy) November 4, 2020
Even prominent Democrats had to acknowledge the fatal flaw in the Biden campaign’s political strategy in the battleground states with significant Hispanic voter presence. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that “the necessary effort simply hasn’t been put in” by the party, adding, “We have work to do.”
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