US Elections: How Will Black and Latino Voters Impact The Upcoming Polls?

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Washington: The United States is about to head for Presidential polls this year. Joe Biden and Donald Trump are once again in a face-to-face contest to win the presidency. But to get into the White House both candidates will have to win the trust of the voters through their policies and plans for the next four years, especially Hispanic and black voters.

The 2024 election will be a momentous milestone that will probably lead to rises in political power throughout the electoral landscape. As per the Pew Research Center’s analysis of demographic data and current trends, Latinos or Hispanics are expected to reach a new high of 14.7% of all eligible voters in November 2024. After each group made up 13% of voters in the 2020 presidential election, Hispanic voters are predicted to overtake Black voters as a percentage of the electorate for the first time.

Exit poll results preserved by the Roper Centre show how over two decades, the Hispanic Vote grew to be equal to the Black vote share of the electorate. In the 2000 Presidential elections, Hispanics accounted for 7% of the voters, with Blacks at 10%. In the 2008 election where Barack Obama won the presidency for the first time as a black president the share of black voters grew to 13% whereas for Hispanics it was 9%.

Where Do Hispanic Voters Stand In The 2024 Elections?

The 2016 Trump vs Clinton face-off saw Hispanics grow to 11% while blacks dipped to 12%. Finally, in the 2020 election Black and Hispanic voters were tied at 13% each. With the Black vote stagnating at about 13% since 2008, the growing Hispanic vote is now expected to meet and exceed it, becoming the nation’s second-largest voter group.

Moving from voter percentages to numbers, Pew Research projected in January 2024 that 36.2 million Hispanics will be able to cast ballots in 2024, an increase from 32.3 million in 2020. Astoundingly, those numbers represent 50% of the total growth of all eligible voters. With such exponential growth, Hispanic voters take centre stage in 2024.

With roughly one in five votes in Arizona, a tough battleground state, all eyes are on them. According to a recent Emerson College/The Hill Poll, Donald Trump leads President Biden in Arizona 46 to 43% in a tough fight for the state’s 11 electoral votes, when in 2020, Biden eked out a surprise win by only 0.3% of just over 3.3 million votes.

Although Arizona ranked fifth among states with the largest Hispanic population behind California, Texas, Florida and New York, it is the only one where the outcome of the 2024 presidential election seems uncertain. From a vantage point that extends well beyond the 2024 election, Hispanics are starting to resemble newly formed voter groupings that altered the course of American politics beginning in the 20th century. The gender and racial composition of today’s elected leaders reflects the success of those movements.

Following the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, women were the first large voting bloc to emerge, with the right to vote being provided in all 50 states. In the 2020 presidential election, which took place a century later, women’s share of the electorate exceeded that of men (52 to 48%), a trend that has occurred in every presidential election since 1984.

Impact Of Black Voters In The 2024 Elections And Increasing Support Of Donald Trump By African American Voters

The emergence of Black Americans as a significant voter bloc was enabled by two legislative acts. First, in 1964, the 24th Amendment was ratified, making poll taxes illegal. Not too long after came the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Black voters became more tolerant of the Democratic Party as a result of these laws, and they have stayed faithful to it ever since. Black Americans’ extraordinary support for Democratic presidential candidates is demonstrated by the exit polling data, which ranges from a low of 83% for Jimmy Carter in 1976 to a high of 95% for Barack Obama in 2008. It is almost 86% on average. In 2020, Joe Biden received 87% of the Black vote, which was marginally less than Hillary Clinton’s 2016 total of 89%.

Donald Trump’s support from Black voters was 12% in 2020, a 4-point increase from 8% in 2016. It will be interesting to see if Trump can secure Black support in swing states this year. Right now, Biden’s support from Black voters seems to be waning, which might hurt his prospects of winning key states like Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

While African Americans have always cast bloc votes, Hispanics’ allegiance to Democrats is significantly less assured. On average, they vote about 66% Democrat. In 2020, Trump improved his percentage with Hispanic voters, taking 32%, up from 28% in 2016. The latest Census data show Hispanics making up 19.1% of the population, compared to Blacks at 12.6% and non-Hispanic whites at 58.9%. These numbers foreshadow the sharp shift in the country’s power dynamics between Blacks and Hispanics that is currently taking place, which is made more complex by the declining number of non-Hispanic white people.

A consistent source of demographic voting power is provided by the 1 million young Hispanics who turn 18 each year, to the extent that there is a unified “Hispanic vote.” Thus, how many of these young Hispanics intend to register and cast ballots should be a top priority for political strategists.

The second question is if they will continue to vote 66% Democratic, as they have done for decades, providing Democratic presidential candidates with the margins they have become accustomed to. Or are they going to follow in the footsteps of other Catholic ethnic groups who were once Democratic but sharply swung to the Republican Party in the late 20th century, resulting in the evenly divided Catholic vote of today? Politicians from both parties should debate that this year and well into the 2024 election.

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