Wild disinformation like this is inundating Spanish-speaking residents of South Florida ahead of Election Day, clogging their WhatsApp chats, Facebook feeds and even radio airwaves at a saturation level that threatens to shape the outcome in the nation’s biggest and most closely contested swing state.
The sheer volume of conspiracy theories — including QAnon — and deceptive claims is already playing a role in stunting Biden’s growth with Latino voters, who comprise about 17 percent of the state’s electorate.
“The onslaught has had an effect,” said Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University.
“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘Deep State’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” he said. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”