“A sizable bloc of Latino voters have remained aligned with Republicans in the Donald Trump era,” observed FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon Jr., who later noted, “The Latino vote in 2016 and 2018 was pretty similar to what it was in elections held before President Trump became the defining figure of the GOP.” While predominantly Democratic, subsets of Hispanic voters, such as evangelical Protestants and military veterans, are politically conservative. Winning even 25 to 30 percent of the Hispanic vote helped Republicans to victory in key races in Texas and Florida last year.
By contrast, black voters have remained overwhelmingly Democratic. Yet even here pundits have been surprised not to see slippage while Trump supporters tout signs of modest progress. “Memo to black men: Stop voting Republican,” blared the headline of a piece by Boston Globe columnist Renee Graham. “What is up with all the black men who voted Republican in the Georgia governor’s race?” asked Vanessa Williams in the Washington Post.
Exit polls showed somewhere between 8 and 11 percent of black men voted for Republican Brian Kemp over African-American Democrat Stacey Abrams in the Georgia gubernatorial contest. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz took 17 percent of black men in his Texas re-election race against then-Rep.Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, who is now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. These defections were mostly offset by near-uniform support from black women for Democratic candidates, but the African-American gender gap that narrowed under Barack Obama appears to be widening again.