Indeed, polls show distinctions among different heritages. While Trump has a sizable lead among Cubans in Florida, giving him the edge among the Latinos in the state, Biden does slightly better among Puerto Rican voters. Across the United States, a little more than 18 percent of the population, or nearly 60 million people, are Latino, slightly more than half of them Mexican. Another 5.6 million are Puerto Rican, and 2 million are Cuban, though the last group is highly concentrated in Florida.
For some in these diverse groups, GOP positions are more appealing. Beyond economic issues like free enterprise and low taxes, social issues can hold a significant sway for Hispanics who are religious — most commonly Roman Catholic but increasingly evangelical. Opposition to abortion rights and gay rights, for instance, can be a deal breaker for many Latinos who come from countries where abortion and gay marriage are illegal.
And the issues themselves are multifaceted, with Republicans often championing the policies they support. “Latinos care a lot about education,” Gamarra said. “But it is not public education,” as Democrats may assume. “It is access to private education.” He said that in Latin America, “public schools are seen as inferior.”