Adiós Trump: How Latino voters brought Julián Castro’s slogan to fruition
Trump has officially left the White House as president for perhaps the last time, and we have the numbers to show how it was possible.
On Jan. 20, Joe Biden wasofficially been sworn-in as the 46th president of the United States, and Kamala Harris has made history in becoming the first woman — and the first Black and Southeast Asian woman — to become Vice President of the U.S..
President Trump departed the White House early on the morning of the historic inauguration without a public congratulatory message or formal acknowledgment of the incoming administration — aside from a note — leaving former Vice President Pence to welcome the transition alone.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One hours before the inauguration, arriving at Palm Beach International Airport in South Florida just before 11 a.m. — in time to watch the event if they so chose — at their residence in Palm Beach at Mar-a-Lago.
The events were two years in the making for one of the nation’s most prominent Latino political figures.
“Two years ago I asked folks to imagine the day our nation gets to say "adiós" to Donald Trump. Today is that day,” Former HUD Secretary and presidential hopeful, Julián Castro wrote on Twitter during the inauguration, wearing his “Adiós Trump” shirt he released over Biden’s campaign trail.
Two years ago I asked folks to imagine the day our nation gets to say "adiós" to Donald Trump. Today is that day.
This #InaugurationDay I'll be wearing my #AdiosTrump shirt proudly, hopeful for a brighter future for our nation under @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. pic.twitter.com/6vR6cEONlW
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 20, 2021
It’s a phrase that can only truly be said today because of the record mobilization efforts and voters who made it possible — namely Black and Latinx voters who voted in record numbers, and the BIPOC leaders who cemented themselves as leaders for the future of representative democracy.
A new study released this week by the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (UCLA LPPI) estimates that a record 16.6 million U.S. Latinos voted in the 2020 Presidential election.
It’s an increase of 30.9% from the 2016 election, that resulted in critical wins for the Biden-Harris ticket, and “was the single largest 4-year increase in Latino vote ever,” according to the UCLA study, and “was nearly double the nationwide 15.9% growth in ballots cast between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.”
Analysis from states like Arizona — the turning point — Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania show that certain precincts experienced a significant outpouring of U.S. Latino voters by a 3 to one margin.
In counties analyzed in Texas, Georgia, Washington, and Florida (outside of Miami-Dade County), the margin was 2 to 1.
The study also provides a breakdown of the states that pulled heavily for Biden, all with significant contributions from Latinx voters.
New report by @uclalatino estimates 16.6 million Latinos voted in the 2020 presidential election nationwide-- a 30.9% increase, almost double the national 15.9% growth in ballots cast between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections
Read the full report: https://t.co/0U2BNsEssF pic.twitter.com/VocvaBDfSi
— UCLA LPPI (@UCLAlatino) January 19, 2021
In Arizona, for instance, the size of the Latino electorate — a result of years of grassroots organizing and mobilization efforts, largely from Mexican-American Latinas — showed their overwhelming support for Joe Biden flipped the state from Republican to Democrat for the first time since 1996.
Still, “the Latino electorate is frequently referred to as the ‘sleeping giant’ of electoral politics,” the study notes, citing a phrase made popular by the New York Times, where Latino voters were characterized as being politically disengaged.
Yes, the Latino turnout gap remains high compared to white and Black peers, but Latino voters increasingly show their voting power with each year, and how their growing influence has the power to make large scale change, as witnessed in the flipping of Arizona, and on the flip side, in counties like Miami-Dade and Tejano border communities.
Recently, the New York Times again reinforced the myth of the “sleeping giant,” with their analysis of immigrant-majority precincts, saying that Trump increased his Latino support in those areas.
“Such findings would contradict some of what the UCAL LPPI study found,” wrote Latino Rebels, arguing that when compared to the UCLA study, the Times analysis isn’t reflective of the broader picture of what happened with Latino voters over 2020.
Ever since numbers began to roll out on election day, there has been a fixation with a small number of Latino-majority communities that sided with the former president. Miami-Dade is one, which former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell said was a product of campaigns missing the diversity and nuances within the demographic.
But these instances are not reflective of the whole.
Overall, a majority of Latinos in Florida voted for Biden, not Trump, and the turnout made it clear that preference across Florida is determined by the distinct nationalities and ideologies of Latino voters.
“Unlike the precincts in Miami-Dade County, Latino density was positively correlated with voting for Biden in Broward, Hillsborough, Orange, and Osceola Counties. Latino voters in these counties, where Puerto Rican voters make up the largest number of Latinos, favored Biden over Trump,” the study reads.
It’s part of the main finding by the UCLA LPPI study, being that Latino voters supported President Biden by “very wide” margins across the country, solidifying his win to become the next president of the United States.
Just two months after the election, Black and Latino mobilizers like Stacey Abrams and voter advocacy groups like Mijente, reached another milestone for the Democratic Party, in electing two new Democratic Senators in Georgia.
Georgia elected two new Democrats — Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — to the Senate, flipping the chamber. Newly-appointed Sen. Alex Padilla will also replace Harris in the Senate as well, which is a significant feat for Biden’s measures — namely immigration — set to be introduced on day one.
Latino voters as a whole delivered for the new presidency over two pivotal elections and now they are collectively waiting to see how the Biden administration will prove that its many promises and goals made throughout the campaign trail are driven home.
So yes, adiós Trump, but now all ears await how President Biden will answer.