Why Did So Many Hispanics in Florida Pull the Lever for DeSantis Instead of Gillum?

Governors race

The pundits seemed baffled by the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race between Rep. Rick DeSantis (R) and Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum (D).  Here is a taste of an article at the Atlanta Black Star:

Initial Election Day results showed that a significant chunk of Latino men and women voted in favor of DeSantis, who once cautioned Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by electing Gillum as their next governor. According to the numbers, 46 percent of Hispanic men voted for the GOP candidate while 38 percent of women did the same.

Social media critics couldn’t help but notice the trend, and were left scratching their heads over how Latinos could vote for someone who’s backed President Donald Trump‘s tough stance on immigration.

“At some point we need to have a frank and non-judgmental conversation about these Hispanic numbers,” Twitter user @chukroxx opined. “I don’t understand them … And, emotionally, it mid-key stings. What’s happening here y’all?”

“I’m truly just tryna comprehend,” he continued. What about the republican platform is so inviting? Especially considering their immigration stances? Why wasn’t the racism Desantis off putting?”

Radio host Ebro Darden offered this explanation: “Some Latinos are white and even racist against Black & Brown. Many are evangelicals … just cause someone makes seasoned food and is stereotyped by the oppressor as murderous and criminal does not mean they don’t wanna be just like their oppressor.”

Other Twitter users chimed with their own ideas, pointing out some Latino’s allegiance to America prompts them to vote red.

I don’t know much about the Latino electorate in Florida, but I wonder if they voted for DeSantis because he is pro-life on abortion.  Many Latinos are evangelicals who take traditional positions on social and cultural issues.  Perhaps they placed their moral commitments over identity politics.  Just a thought.  Perhaps someone who knows more about this subject might be able to offer some insight.

It seems like the same argument could be made in other gubernatorial races as well.

4 thoughts on “Why Did So Many Hispanics in Florida Pull the Lever for DeSantis Instead of Gillum?

  1. “I don’t know much about the Latino electorate in Florida, but I wonder if they voted for DeSantis because he is pro-life on abortion. Many Latinos are evangelicals who take traditional positions on social and cultural issues.”

    Many Latinos are also Catholic, so pro-life/abortion issues would resonate very strongly in the same way there as well.

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  2. In my opinion, there is an arrogant tendency on the part of white liberals to lump all Hispanics together. A lot of these elitist white liberals do not travel in Spanish-speaking circles and are blinded by their progressive ignorance. The Summer lawn parties on Cape Cod, the Manhattan cocktail parties, and the Georgetown dinners are rather monochromatic fostering a condescending groupthink.

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  3. Cubans in Florida have a long history of voting Republican in big numbers, due primarily to their preference for Republicans’ hardline stance against Castro. I just assumed that loyalty still remains despite Trump’s antics.

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  4. John: there is also a large Cuban population in Florida, and they tend to be far more conservative than other Hispanics. I would wager — I have not seen exit polling breaking this down — that they came out strongly for DeSantis, particularly in counties like Miami-Dade.

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