Speed Reads

election 2020

Trump did surprisingly well in Hispanic-majority counties in South Texas

President Trump is projected to win Texas' 38 electoral votes, and analysts are taking a close look at the southern part of the state, where he performed better than expected in counties with large Hispanic populations.

Journalist Megan K. Stack tweeted that her "biggest surprise of the night" was Trump receiving 47 percent of the vote in Starr County. This is a "rural, poor, and almost entirely Latino" county, which was a "dependable Democratic stronghold." In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Starr County, with 79 percent of the vote compared to Trump's 19 percent.

In Zapata County, where 84 percent of estimated votes have been counted, Trump is winning with 52.5 percent of the vote. Houston Chronicle reporter Zach Despart tweeted that the county, which Clinton won in 2016 by 33 points, is 95 percent Hispanic, and it was "shaping up to be a very poor performance for [Democratic presidential nominee Joe] Biden in heavily Democratic South Texas."

In South Florida, Trump appears to have been buoyed by Cuban American voters, and Sawyer Hackett, a senior adviser to native Texan and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, noted that there's "not a lot of Cubans in South Texas. Latinos aren't monolithic, but these numbers signal a much broader problem for Democrats than national origin."

Farther west in Arizona, Biden is ahead in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located. The population there is about one-third Hispanic, and The Atlantic's Derek Thompson tweeted that if Biden does win there, it's "an important indicator that A, there is no singular 'Latino vote,' B, we should get some fascinating gender/education/generation/geographical origin breakdowns of the 2020 Latino vote."