City Politics

Young Voters Came Out, Latinos Did Not

The Gen Z Brief
Ryan M. Brooks

At 10 30 Am on Tuesday, November 3, I cast my first-ever Presidential ballot for Joe Biden.
I did this for multiple reasons: climate change, student debt relief, and racial justice, to name a few.
According to CNN exit polls, many within my age group did the same; Biden is set to win those 18-29 by a margin of 62-35, far exceeding any other age group, and even further outpacing Hillary Clintons 2016 margins.
Though many didn’t, I expected this; we are the most progressive generation in American history, and Tuesday, we voted our values.

People came with their walkers and wheelchairs. Photo: Lem Peterkin

Still, as of this writing, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have yet to be called; and as Tuesday night bleeds into Wednesday morning, it is becoming clear that the unbridled repudiation of Trump many of us expected is not coming.
Misinformation, voter suppression, sexism, racism, and straight-up lies all played a role.
However, who we should not obfuscate from blame here, is Joe Biden.
For transparency, I did not vote for Joe Biden in the Democratic primary; I voted for Senator Sanders. However, from my understanding, the sole reason fellow Democrats nominated Biden was that he was seen as the “safe” candidate to beat President Trump.
Conventional wisdom in Democratic circles was that Biden could win back enough white voters to retake the aforementioned rust-belt states. While that may still happen, it is by no means a guarantee.
In actuality,Biden is losing voters in certain places, but not white voters, rather, Latino voters.
In Florida, Trump carried nearly half of the Latino vote, up from 35% in 2016. In Georgia, Biden carried Latinos by 16 percentage points compared to Hillary Clintons 40; and in Ohio, Biden took Hispanics by 24 percentage points to Clintons 41.
Latinos are notoriously underserved; many live-in poverty, lack quality access to education, and face discrimination on a daily basis. How could Biden allow them to leap into the arms of President Trump?
Perhaps some of it, as reported by the New York Times, is because of Biden’s lack of Latino outreach infrastructure, which caused Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to say Trump’s, “Hispanic effort is much more active.”
If Latinos decide to make a home within the GOP, it could be the party’s lifeline in a diversifying country.
If we learn one thing from this election, as a party, it’s that we cannot take minority voters for granted. Just because you have a D next to your name does not grant you lordship over the vote of minority voters; you have to work for it.
Joe Biden did not, and it may cost him, and frankly us, an election.

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