In 2020, Election Day could more accurately be called Election Week.
And though we were warned that definitive results for the presidential election could take days, if not weeks, the past few days found many of us constantly refreshing our screens for the latest results.
One of the big themes to come out of the presidential election is how the nation’s Latino population voted, and how their votes made a crucial difference in key states. Nationwide, 73% of Latinos voted for Joe Biden and 27% for President Donald Trump. But those numbers vary wildly from state to state.
WBEZ political reporter Maria Ines Zamudio says that while the diversity of the Latino vote might be news to some, it’s not news to Latinos.
“We have the same discussion every election cycle,” Zamudio said. “There are 32 million eligible Latino voters and I think it’s really indicative of where we’re at that we are still having this discussion. Yes, there are many conservative Latinos from Cuba, from Venezuela, but also from Mexico. We also have to be really cognizant of the fact that the Latino vote really carried Biden in many, many states and in fact we wouldn’t even be talking about Arizona or Nevada without the Latino vote. So we have to be really careful about how we frame this conversation.”
Chicago Sun-Times editorial board member Ismael Perez says that in his own writing he’s careful about how he talks about Latinos because, he says, “we all don’t think alike.” He cites examples from Trump supporters in his own Mexican American family in his home state of Texas.
“I voted for the first time this year, and I went with my big brother to the polls. He was watching Trump campaign videos on the way there,” he said. “In south Texas we’re very blue, but there was a certain county that was red, and that county was Zapata County, and there’s a big oil population [there]. My brother works in the oil fields, he told me, ‘I know Trump has said negative things about Mexicans,’ but he was worried about his mortgage payments, his car payments, his family.”
ProPublica reporter and columnist Mick Dumke says the continued media coverage of the Latino vote is revealing.
“People don’t come up to me and expect that I’m going to be part of the white voting bloc,” he said. “It’s anticipated that there are so many different segments to the people who identify as white in this country and their voting patterns, that it’s an ongoing joke about what’s going to happen at Thanksgiving at the dinner table during these divided times. Why would it be any different for anyone of any other ethnic or racial background? I think it’s really kind of an absurd conversation that shows a lot of ignorance from those of us in the media to start with,” he said.