Nick Oza / The Republic / USA Today Network via Reuters
Reymundo Torres is an Arizonian, a devout Roman Catholic, ethnic Mexican, and a staunch supporter of this president.
“What initially attracted me and keeps me tied to him is that he has taught Republicans how to not just win, but no longer throw our faces and bodies in front of every blow that the left is willing to throw,” Torres said. .
Torres likes the way Trump does not take any root from the Democrats, or what he calls establishment Republicans. Torres also said it was refreshing to see a president do what he says he will do despite criticism – from Trump’s burning tweets, sometimes filled with misinformation – to his controversial decisions such as moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem , a disputed area. .
Come election day first and foremost for Torres will be Trump’s remake of the federal courts. The president has appointed more than 200 judges during his tenure as a civil servant. It is not immigration that Torres will think of when he casts his vote.
“My family has been in Arizona for more than 100 years. We do not see ourselves as immigrants,” he said. “We are largely Arizona and American. So keep treating us as if we are all still just fresh across the border, as most Republicans and many Democrats would like to think we are – just too easy to encapsulate – is something that does not resonate. “
The Latino vote will be key across the country and especially in tight races in places like Arizona and Florida. This year, Latinos make up the largest non-white voting bloc in the country, and according to polls, Torres is part of about or over a quarter of Latinos who view this president positively, some polls show that Trump is doing slightly better among Latinos by 2020 than he did with Latinos in 2016.
And the backbone of that support comes from men. A poll by the New York Times Sienna College showed that former Vice President Joe Biden leads by 34 percentage points among Latina voters, but with Latino men, his lead is only 8 points.
“Spanish men in particular are a swing poll,” said Michelle Mayorga, a New Mexico-based pollster who worked on polls for Equis Research focusing on Latino voters. “They are a vote that we must go and get.”
In Equis Research polls in key swing states from Arizona to Nevada, male Latin voters show much more support for Donald Trump than Latina voters.
While Democrats are expected to win the majority of Latino votes in general, margins are narrower than men.
“Republicans want to take a bigger margin than maybe before, or enough for it to start eating in the democratic margin,” Mayorga said.
That may sound strange. This is a president who has called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers who have been accused of bait and whose presidency is haunted with pictures of wandering children separated from their parents in overcrowded detention centers.
But the support comes with a Republican party’s effort to do justice to Latino voters for decades. Republican strategists turned to Latino communities as they began to see African-American voters flee the party in the 1950s and 1960s, said Geraldo Cadava, a historian at Northwestern University who wrote the book on Latin American Republicans.
President Richard Nixon set the tone with patronage and senior appointments of Latinos, Cadava said. So this year is the same.
“It’s pretty consistent with previous elections. Ever since Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972, Republicans have won somewhere between a quarter and a third of the Latino vote,” said Cadava, author of The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump. “I will first point to the development over a long period of partisan loyalty to the Republican Party. And Latino Republican voters just identify as Republicans above all else, like many Americans. There is a kind of tribalism among Latino Republicans, just like that is among many Americans. “
While some might expect support to decline in societies hardest hit by COVID-19 – losing more jobs and more lives than other demographic groups – Cadava said Trump campaign announcements have been successful at low unemployment for Latinos before the pandemic , law and order (many Latinos serve in the military, police force and in the border patrol) and other issues important to Latino conservatives.
“It’s been a little amazing to see, I mean, in some ways, the Latinos for the Trump campaign, which officially launched in the spring of 2019, have been relentless in recruiting Latino voters,” Cadava said. “They are actually trying to increase Trump’s Latino support, not just keep it stable or reduce democracy’s turnout. They are trying to win more Latino votes.”
In Orange County, Randall Avila trusts that Latino voters will turn the county red again by returning four congressional seats that the party lost in 2018 and holding on to the county seat.
Avila is an ethnic Mexican, 30, and executive director of the Orange County Republican Party.
“I’ve been called every name in the book, from coconut to many other things,” he said.
But the scary rhetoric does not diminish him, he said. This party is where he feels at home.
“Our families and our communities, you know, really cared for each other and took care of us. We were not really focused on what the government will do for us,” he said. “The independent spirit of our society really drove me to the Republican ideal of ensuring that you are able to support yourself and your family, that you have the independence and the freedom to be able to start your own business or work where you want or go to school where you want to go and have those opportunities available. “
His Christian faith also adapted him to the Republican Party on topics such as abortion. And while he said he probably wouldn’t put things the way Donald Trump sometimes does, Latino voters like him are attracted to the message of lower taxes and lower living costs, especially in California.
“I have never seen the Republican Party fight so hard to get Latino and African American votes,” he said. “We have a number of Latino candidates, a number of Latino Republicans, who are really stepping up and taking center stage. I hope it can be a better channel to connect with Latinos across the country and show them that the Republican Party, there is a place for you here. This is your home of choice. “