Fellow Democrats have complained about the Latin American sluggishness of the Biden campaign for months, though the campaign ultimately spent a record $ 20 million on TV and radio advertising in Spanish, more than double the $ 9 million. dollars from the Trump campaign, according to Advertising Analytics, an advertising tracking company. And both campaigns attempted to target voters based on their regional and national origin – there were advertisements with Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican overtones.
Indeed, regional differences illustrate both political changes and the way Latinos see themselves. In Arizona, for example, a historically Republican state changed because of young Latinos who were politically activated by Senate Bill 1070, a 2010 state measure known as the “show me your papers law.” And that critics have called legalized racial profiling.
“People tend to attack us,” Alma Aguilar said at a small Black Lives Matter protest in suburban Phoenix this summer. “We are not treated the same as whites.”
Even as the votes were still counted, many Democrats credited young Latinas like Ms. Aguilar for their success in the state. Local activists noted that while Democrats celebrated, organizing voters began long before the national party invested in the state.
“We did it,” said Alejandra Gomez, co-chief executive of Lucha, a voter mobilization group that was created in response to the state’s anti-immigration policies ten years ago. “We organized when no one else was paying attention. It‘s weird to say, but without it I’m not sure we would have reversed the state.
Yet a lesson from Arizona – that political identity is often constructed in the face of persecution – has not been valid in Texas, where over a year ago a gunman killed 22 people in El Paso. , the biggest anti-Latino attack in modern American history, after authorities said he wrote a manifesto that echoed much of the president’s language.
Texas didn’t even come close to turning to Democrats this year. About 25-30% of Latino voters nationwide have chosen Republican candidates for decades, but many Democrats have expressed particular alarm at the loss of support in the Rio Grande Valley, where Mr Biden has won some. border counties with significantly lower margins than Hillary Clinton. made in 2016.