How an ‘awakened giant’ used its power on Election Day

In the West, Latino voters did turn out—just not the way analysts expected.

 

Add this to the list of stunning upsets in this year’s election: President-elect Donald Trump, who ran a campaign fixated on an anti-immigrant platform, captured more of the Latino vote than Mitt Romney did in 2012. 

Leading up to Election Day, a historic increase in Latino voter turnout seemed possible—and while this year’s support for a Democrat waned, that thesis proved true. According to FiveThirtyEight, national Latinos did make up a larger share of voters overall this election than they had in previous ones: 11 percent this year, up from 10 percent in 2012 and 9 percent in 2008.

Those national numbers are hardly the “surge” that many media outlets forecasted in the days and weeks leading up to the presidential election. Like so many other groups, Latinos just didn’t do what analysts, political scientists and pundits expected (NewTowncarShare News included). Nationwide, 65 percent of Latinos supported Hillary Clinton, while 29 percent voted for Trump. Compare that to 2012, when President Barack Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote; Romney secured 27 percent.

Clinton this year failed to beat or even match Obama’s 2012 numbers among minorities. According to  by Pew Research, Clinton’s support from Latinos was similar to Obama’s in 2008; however, Clinton’s share of the Latino vote was lower than in 2012, when 71 percent of Latinos voted to reelect Obama.

But some analysts say polls distorted the number of Hispanic voters that turned out to vote this year. As a counter, the Washington Post and LatinoDecisions came up with a exit poll of its own that accounted for an increase in the number of Latino voters by weighting their numbers with geographic census information on where Latinos live. (Other polls often use random samples, which don’t purposefully include places that have higher relative populations of Hispanic voters.) Their result found that Trump received of the Latino vote, the lowest of any presidential candidate. 

Compared to the rest of the country, though, Latino voters in Western states turned out in historic numbers and voted more resoundingly for Clinton. In Arizona, 84 percent of Latinos voted for Clinton. The growing clout of Hispanics there, though, wasn’t enough to flip the state, as some analysts predicted. Arizona went to Trump, 50 percent to Clinton’s 45. In California, Colorado and Nevada, 80 percent or more Latino voters went for Clinton. She carried all three states.

Still, President-elect Trump’s administration could disproportionally impact Latinos across the West, if they don’t take action on climate change as promised. According to an October study by the Natural Resource Defense Council, “geography, occupation and socio-economic disparities” make Latinos in the United States particularly vulnerable to climate-related threats. Additionally, Trump’s threat to deport undocumented residents could target those that have immigrated recently.

In his first 100 days in office, Trump to get rid of Deferred Action permits, which were instated by executive action issued by Obama in 2012 and allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children to stay. Juan Gallegos, an undocumented young man from Mexico who works for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, featured in NewTowncarShare Newsstory prior to the election, could lose the permit that allows him to stay and work in the country. “I’m worried about the direction of this nation,” Gallegos says. “But I’m still not afraid. The world will be watching what happens next. If injustice comes to thousands of people and there are mass deportations, there will be consequences.”

Homepage image: Erik Hersmann, Flickr user.  

Paige Blankenbuehler is the Assistant Editor at NewTowncarShare News. She tweets

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Native Americans and the News Media The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is...
  • AWF seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • The Southwest Communications Director will be responsible for working with field staff in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to develop and execute detailed communication plans...
  • An intentional community designed for aging in place. Green built with Pumice-crete construction (R32), bamboo flooring, pine doors, T&G ceiling with fans, and maintenance free...
  • (CFROG) is a Ventura County, CA based watch-dog and advocacy non-profit organization. cfrog.org
  • Take your journalism skills to the next level and deepen your understanding of environmental issues by applying for the 2019-2020 Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental...
  • WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Winter Wildlands Alliance seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to lead and manage the organization as Executive...
  • The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking a visionary leader to spearhead its public lands stewardship program in southwest Colorado. For a detailed job description...
  • The Cascade Forest Conservancy seeks a passionate ED to lead our forest protection, conservation, education, and advocacy programs.
  • Mountain Pursuit is a new, bold, innovative, western states, hunting advocacy nonprofit headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming. We need a courageous, hard working, passionate Executive Director...
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for the Willis McDonald, IV...
  • Couple seeks quiet, private, off-grid acreage in area with no/low cell phone service and no/low snowfall. Conservation/bordering public lands a plus. CA, OR, WA, ID,...
  • 20mi N of Steamboat Springs, majestic views, aspen forest, year-round access, yurt, septic, solar electric, seasonal ponds, no covenants, bordering National Forest. Ag status. $449K....
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions: Communications & Development Manager/Director (remote work possible) and a Deputy Director...
  • Former northern Sierra winery, with 2208 sq.ft. commercial building, big lot, room to expand.
  • The dZi Foundation is seeking a FT Communications Associate with a passion for Nepal to join our team in Ridgway, Colorado. Visit dzi.org/careers.
  • Available now for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojaidigital.net.
  • Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Suitable for planting hay, hemp, fruit. Excellent water rights. 1800 square foot farmhouse, outbuildings, worker housing.