How will COVID-19 affect the Hispanic vote?
The pandemic raises interesting challenges for both parties in courting Latinos
Much has been written about the Hispanic vote in 2020, given projections that it’s expected to include the largest voting minority in November. Hispanics represent more than 13 percent of the electorate, or 32 million, and they may prove to tip the scales in several key states, including Florida, Arizona, California, Texas and New York. By any measure, this makes Hispanics a major electoral force in this year’s presidential contest.
But the COVID-19 pandemic raises new and interesting questions, as well as challenges, for both Democrats and Republicans regarding their ability to garner the Latino vote.
In recent weeks, new data reveal that Hispanics are being disproportionately affected by the virus in terms of both the number of infections and COVID-19-related employment layoffs. California provides perhaps the most illustrative example of the health disparities, given that “Latinos made up 64.9 percent of the COVID-19 deaths among patients ages 18 to 49, and 43.5 percent of that overall population.” There’s a similar situation in New York City, where Hispanics represent an estimated 29 percent of the city’s population but are currently accounting for roughly 34 percent of coronavirus-related deaths.