Hispanic Texans Prove Decisive in Presidential Race

November 4, 2020

(Dallas, Texas, November 4, 2020) – Hispanic Texans played a pivotal role in helping President Donald Trump carry the state in Tuesday’s election, just as a Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll in August suggested they would.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, significantly underperformed previous Democratic candidates in a number of Texas counties with large Hispanic populations, ultimately dashing Democratic hopes of perhaps carrying Texas in a presidential race for the first time since 1976.

“One of the reasons Trump won Texas is because he cut into traditional Hispanic support for Democrats,” said Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation President Jason Villalba. “If Biden had met or slightly exceeded traditional Democratic performance among Hispanic Texans, he might have carried the state. Hispanic Texans proved their importance as a voting bloc.”

In August, THPF and the Rice University Baker Institute released a poll showing Biden leading Trump among Hispanic Texans by 9.5 percentage points. By comparison, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Hispanic Texans by 27 percentage points against Trump, according to exit polls.

An October 1 projection of the 2020 Texas Hispanic vote by the THPF based on the data from the August survey and aggregate voter data projected that Trump would win Texas 52% to 47% and that Biden would win 58% of the Hispanic vote to 41% for Trump. As of November 4, Trump is ahead in Texas 52% to 46% (with 92% of the vote counted) and the national exit poll data currently indicate that in Texas Biden won 59% of the Hispanic vote and Trump won 40% of the Hispanic vote.

Mark P. Jones, the TXHPF Director of Research and Analytics noted, “Donald Trump’s victory in Texas is due in large part to his substantial support among the state’s diverse Hispanic electorate. In the pivotal Rio Grande Valley counties of Hidalgo and Cameron, where 82% and 79% of registered voters are Hispanic, Trump won 41% and 43% of the vote amidst turnout that was notably higher than four years ago when Trump won only 28% and 32% of the vote in Hidalgo and Cameron respectively.”

“Democrats still have an advantage with Hispanic Texans, but they did not get the support from those voters that Biden needed to carry the state,” Villalba said. “Both parties would be wise to prioritize their outreach to Hispanic voters. Democrats should be asking why their support in heavily Hispanic areas fell so dramatically, and Republicans will need to make further progress with Hispanics if they want to continue their dominance in the state. Hispanic voters are only going to become more influential in Texas. The party that is best at reaching Hispanic voters will have a major advantage in future elections.”


About the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation
The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation operates as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated and committed to analyzing and exploring the political, economic, social, demographic, and familial attitudes and behaviors of Texas Hispanics. In collaboration with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Foundation conducts surveys, polls, research, data collection and analysis concerning the Hispanic population in Texas. You can find more information about the Foundation at www.TxHPF.org.