TRUMPISM: Most Latinos identify first as working-class Americans

Don­ald Trump lost the pres­i­den­cy, but showed Repub­li­cans a way to win the cul­ture wars with work­ing-class Hispanics.

Despite four years of being defined as a racist for his rhetoric and harsh immi­gra­tion poli­cies, Trump improved his mar­gins in 78 of the nation’s 100 major­i­ty-His­pan­ic coun­ties. And he did bet­ter with Lati­nos in exit polls of each of the top 10 bat­tle­ground states, a POLITICO review of elec­tion data found.

Joe Biden still won Lati­no vot­ers over­all. But as post-elec­tion data trick­les in, Democ­rats are grow­ing con­cerned. Trump’s notable gains weren’t lim­it­ed to Miami’s Cuban Amer­i­cans or bor­der-region Tejanos. Although Flori­da and Texas stood out for the notable shift, Puer­to Ricans as far away as Philadel­phia and Mex­i­can Amer­i­cans in Mil­wau­kee drift­ed Trump-ward.

Trump improved his show­ing among Lati­nos by scal­ing back some of his immi­gra­tion rhetoric and engag­ing in a sus­tained bilin­gual social media and TV ad cam­paign that court­ed Lati­nos based on place of ori­gin, gen­der and religion.

But, in inter­views with more than a dozen experts on His­pan­ic vot­ers in six states, no fac­tor was as salient as Trump’s blue-col­lar appeal for Latinos.

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