Young Hispanics in South Florida are increasingly leaving behind their parents’ Republican ideas.
First-generation immigrants who come from countries with authoritarian regimes tend to lean Republican and be conservative in political views, but their young adult children are swinging increasingly Independent, according to an analysis of data from the Florida Division of Elections.
The percentage of young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 who were registered Republican in Nov. 2012 has dropped from 18.5% to 16.6% in Aug. 2020, according to the data. The percentage of those who register with No Party Affiliation, among those ages, has increased from 38.7% to 41.4%.
The analysis, conducted by FIU Journalism + Media Professor Dan Evans, was done with support from the Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit that supports rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.
According to Telemundo’s Young Latino Voter survey, 65% of young Hispanics nationally say they feel better informed than their parents and 52% say they are more involved politically than their parents.
Katrina Torres is a 23-year-old born in Greensville, South Carolina with Nicaraguan parents who has lived in Miami for the past 10 years. Her parents support President Trump’s reelection but she says she will vote for Biden.
“I think we’ve had enough,” she said. “He could have proved himself and we are not in a better place than when he was elected.”
In 2018, a survey by the Latino Vote Project said that 70% of Hispanic voters across the country felt that Donald Trump’s words or actions made them feel angry or disrespected. In Florida, reportedly 72% of Hispanic voters believe the Republican party used toxic rhetoric to divide the country.
But, according to the 2020 FIU Cuba Poll, 53% of Cuban American voters are registered under the Republican Party. The number of non-Cuban voters registered Republican is only 32%.
Rolando Roque, 54, organized a Facebook group called Cuban Americans for Biden.
“Many Cubans who don’t speak English listen to [Hispanic] radio stations from Miami and they continue to follow the Republican voices, without reading news or understanding what is really going on,” said Roque.
Roque, who has two daughters of voting age, said he encourages them to read the news and stay on top of politics.
There are more than 2 million registered voters in Florida between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the Voter Mapping by L2. Of almost 21% of the registered voters that are Hispanic in Florida, 37% are registered Democrat and 35% are Republican.
“I don’t think Biden is better or worse than Trump,” said Sandra Sinchez, 31, a Peruvian-born American citizen who has been living in Miami for six years. “I simply think that he could be the right person to run this country because Trump has shown that he is president only to Republicans, and we need a president for everyone.”
Sinchez’s father, Gustavo Adolfo Sinchez, 61, supports a reelection of President Trump.
“Even though my dad supports Trump, I know I don’t see that this country is well managed under his administration,” said Sinchez. “I think my dad supports him because he is afraid, because we come from Peru, where we’ve seen terrorism from leftist groups and scarcity of resources.”
Roque said that many Cubans who are eligible to vote are not convinced with supporting Biden.
“The Democratic party is not socialist, I try to explain it to young Cubans who have just immigrated to Miami,” said Roque. “Some of their policies are not socialist, but pro-society, and it is thanks to those policies that our parents and grandparents have benefits like Medicare and Medicaid.”
According to the 2020 FIU Cuba Poll, 59% of Cuban Americans in Florida are expected to vote for Trump.
“But if we can divide in half the Cuban American vote, we would be able to help swing the election,” said Roque. “So, we have to keep telling our truth, try to reestablish democracy for groups that are hit by the president’s inability to condemn racism and white privilege.”