Ethnic votes and their impact on the 2020 election

By Cassandra Drumond

Alianza News

San Francisco. In this election, we have seen the impact of different groups of people of color in the United States in election outcomes. Theodore R. Johnson, Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, explains one of the most defining features of American politics is the Black American vote: “There is no other block of voters this size and with this amount of electoral power. For about six decades 90% of Black voters have voted for Democratic candidates in presidential and congressional elections. This follows a long history of racism clustering on one side, so Black voters picked one side of a two-party system as a way to show racial solidarity. Exit polls show 90% of Black voters supported Biden and 8% supported Trump, which is a similar divide in terms of party as in 2016. In terms of voter turnout, 10% more Black women voted than Black men in this election and we also found that Black men are more likely to support the republican party. We know the winner of the election is the side that does a better job of getting their voters to the polls. This election, Kamala Harris running as vice president and they knew Joe Biden, who stood by Obama’s side for nearly a decade, all contributed to a record turnout of Black voters in the US.”

Frank Sharry, Executive Director at America’s Voice, an immigration reform advocacy organization, explains how immigration played out in this election: “We conducted an American election eve poll which did a deep dive into people of color (PoC) voting attitudes on an interactive website. We know Trump has demonized immigrants from the first time he spoke about this group and has been overall negative since. It brings me great joy that we can say their reliance on racism and xenophobia did not work. This administration used language that incited racism and it failed. Trump accused Somalis of being terrorists, and Americans rejected this by showing up and voting. A historic multiracial majority voted against him, and against his policies.”

Dr. Stephen Nuño-Perez, Senior Analyst, Associate Professor and Chair at the Northern Arizona University Department of Politics and International Affairs, pointed out Black voters were mobilized in major cities like Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque. He further explains, “We know that minorities cannot be ignored any longer. Many campaigns have done a great job of engaging Latinos on the ground, keeping in mind Latinos do respond to certain messages. We also saw 70% of the Latino population supporting Biden.”

John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), explains “First off we are still voting, votes are still being counted, including votes that were in the mail by election day. However, we do know 300,000 Asian American’s participated in the election for the first time. This number is up in significant ways. Also, in terms of future elections, we know now about 1/3 of Asian Americans live in battleground states and we know have seen how our communities together provided a change.”

Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today, speaks about Native Americans in the US and their presence in government positions and future hopes. Trahant explains, “The Indian country is getting its voice heard, and now when we write a story, it goes out worldwide, is read by thousands of people, which makes us more part of the mainstream conversation. In the past we had six Native Americans that were elected into the House of Representatives, three as democrats and three as republicans, which allows us bipartisan support. This year, we found more than 110 candidates were running for local and national elections. There is still a lot of sorting and a lot of legislative races still have not been called, but we will be looking at those numbers as well. They don’t get the same attention as national races, but we will be updating them in real time. Also, a state that should be mentioned is Arizona, which had grounding operations with organizers in communities and zoom campaigns looking to increase the Native vote. In terms of voter turnout, the Navajo and Apache communities showed a significant increase in voting. Four years ago, only 25,000 people voted for Hillary Clinton in Coconino County. This time around it was 38,000 votes for Joe Biden. A huge increase. What we want to look into now is correlations between past elections and first-time voter