Election 2020 Recap: Examining a Diverse Hispanic Electorate

This year’s election saw the most racially and ethnically diverse U.S. electorate in history. For the first time in U.S. history, Hispanic Americans were the largest minority group among eligible voters, overtaking African Americans. This shift in the electorate is likely to have significant effects on the outcomes of future elections.

While Hispanics nationwide supported Democrats in this election, results at a state level show that Hispanic voters are far from monolithic, with the diversity among Hispanic voters reflected in their varying voting preferences. For example, Hispanic voters in Florida were almost evenly split between the two presidential candidates while Hispanic voters in other states were far more likely to support Joe Biden.

Research has already some shed light on what drives these nuances. Polling has found that younger Hispanic voters and voters of Puerto Rican or Mexican ancestry are much more likely to lean Democratic, while Cuban Americans and Hispanic Americans who have been in the United States for generations are more likely to identify as Republican and are closer to resembling non-Hispanic white Americans. These differences help explain why areas with significant Hispanic populations such as South Florida, Arizona, and the Rio Grande Valley, all ended up voting in such different ways from each other.

With this in mind, we dug deeper into U.S. Census data to look at just how different Hispanic voters are across 6 battleground states with significant Hispanic populations: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. As the number of Hispanic voters in each of these states continues to grow, the success of future electoral campaigns will inevitably be tied to how well they are able to identify, target, and adapt their messaging to each of these unique Hispanic electorates.

With this in mind, we dug deeper into U.S. Census data to look at just how different Hispanic voters are across 6 battleground states with significant Hispanic populations: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. As the number of Hispanic voters in each of these states continues to grow, the success of future electoral campaigns will inevitably be tied to how well they are able to identify, target, and adapt their messaging to each of these unique Hispanic electorates.

You can jump to each state’s data by clicking here: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas

State-Level Data

Arizona

A young, U.S.-born Mexican American voting bloc that is growing quickly.

Latino Exit Poll: 36% Trump, 63% Biden (source)

Growth 2016-2020

  • The number of Hispanic eligible voters grew by 19%, from 1,132,000 to 1,350,000 between 2016 and 2020.
  • Hispanics made up about 43% of all new eligible voters in the state.

Demographic Makeup

  • Hispanic eligible voters were overwhelmingly Mexican American, with almost 89% identifying as having Mexican ancestry.
  • Hispanic eligible voters in Arizona skew much younger than the overall U.S. electorate, with more than 20% of Hispanic voters being under 25 years old (compared to 11% in the U.S. overall).
    • More than 60% of Hispanic voters in Arizona were under 45 (compared to 44% in U.S. overall).
  • Hispanic eligible voters were overwhelmingly U.S.-born, with nearly half (48%) being third generation Americans or more, and an additional 34% were U.S.-born children of immigrants (second generation).
  • Meanwhile, only 18% of Hispanic eligible voters were immigrants.
  • About 90% of Hispanic voters identified as white, 9% identified as being Native American or of mixed race.

Arizona: Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

Race/Ethnicity 2016 2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2020 Change, 2016-2020
White 2,871,000 3,095,000 7.8% +224,000
Black / African American 196,000 209,500 6.9% +13,500
Native / Indigenous American 108,000 116,000 7.0% +8,000
Asian & Pacific Islander 121,000 151,000 27.3% +30,000 Share of Overall Change, 2016-2020
Hispanic 1,132,000 1,350,000 19.2% +218,000 43.4%
Mixed 55,000 64,000 17.2% +9,000
Total 4,484,000 4,986,000 11.2% +501,800
Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding. Hispanics are any person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Other races are non-Hispanic (e.g. non-Hispanic whites, etc.).

Arizona, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Race

Race Share of Hispanic Voters
White 90.4%
Black / African American 0.3%
Native / Indigenous American 4.2%
Asian & Pacific Islander 0.5%
Mixed 4.5%
Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.
Arizona, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in United States

    Arizona, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in United States

    Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
    18.8 33.7 47.4
    Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

    Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

    Arizona, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

    Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
    18 to 24 20.5%
    25 to 44 41.0%
    45 to 64 25.6%
    65 and Older 12.9%
    Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

    Colorado

    A Hispanic electorate that skews much younger, with many third-generation Mexican American voters.

    Latino Exit Poll: 38% Trump, 59% Biden (source)

    Growth 2016-2020

    • The number of Hispanic eligible voters grew by 15%, from 514,000 to 592,000 between 2016 and 2020.
    • Hispanics made up about 51% of all new eligible voters in the state.

    Demographic Makeup

    • The majority of Hispanic eligible voters were Mexican American, with 68% identifying as having Mexican ancestry. Another 20% identified as being “Hispanic” without identifying a country of origin—the majority of them have long roots in the United States (3+ generations).
    • Hispanic eligible voters in Colorado skew much younger than the overall U.S. electorate, with more than 22% of Hispanic voters being under 25 years old.
      • More than 66% of Hispanic voters in Colorado were under 45.
    • Colorado’s Hispanic immigrant eligible voters are much younger than they are on average in the U.S. More than half (52%) of Hispanic immigrant eligible voters were under the age of 45.
      • Nationwide, two-thirds of Hispanic eligible immigrants are over the age of 45.
    • More than half (51 %) of Hispanic voters in Colorado were third generation Americans or more, while 27% were second generation Americans.
    • Meanwhile, 22% of Hispanic eligible voters were immigrants. 
    • While 87% of Hispanic voters identified as white, more than 10% identified as being mixed race or Native American.

    Colorado: Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

    Race / Ethnicity 2016 2020 Change, 2016-2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2010
    Non-Hispanic 3,298,000 3,372,000 +74,000 2.2% Share of Overall Growth, 2016-2020
    Hispanic 514,000 592,000 +78,000 15.1% 51.3%
    Total 3,812,000 3,964,000 +152,000 4.0%
    Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

    Colorado, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Race

    Race Share of Hispanic Voters
    White 86.8%
    Black / African American 2.2%
    Native / Indigenous American 1.7%
    Asian & Pacific Islander 0.6%
    Mixed 8.7%
    Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.
    Colorado, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

      Colorado, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

      Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
      22.6 26.7 50.6
      Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

      Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

      Colorado, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

      Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
      18 to 24 22.4%
      25 to 44 45.5%
      45 to 64 22.7%
      65 and Older 9.4%
      Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

      Florida

      No one group dominates in Florida, with Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and South Americans (particularly Venezuelan and Colombian Americans) making up roughly equal shares of a Hispanic electorate that skews much older and more foreign-born than Hispanics nationwide. While Puerto Ricans tend to lean Democratic, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Colombians tend to be staunchly anti-socialist and lean right.

      Latino Exit Poll: 47% Trump, 52% Biden (source)

      Growth 2016-2020

      • The number of Hispanic eligible voters grew by 23%, from 2,560,000 to 3,146,000 between 2016 and 2020.
      • Hispanics made up about 42% of all new eligible voters in the state.

      Demographic Makeup

      • Florida is one of the few states where the Hispanic electorate is not majority-Mexican American. No one Hispanic group dominates in the state, with the largest group being Cuban Americans (28%), followed by Puerto Ricans (26%), and South Americans (21% including Venezuelans). Meanwhile, Mexican Americans made up only 8% of the Hispanic electorate. 
      • Hispanic eligible voters in Florida skew much older, with 21% of Hispanic voters being over 65 years old. Meanwhile only 12% of Hispanic voters were under 25.
      • Almost half (48%) of Hispanic voters in Florida were immigrants, driven by large numbers of naturalized Cuban and South American immigrants. Nearly 3 out 4 Cuban American and South American eligible voters were immigrants.
      • Despite the diversity of the Hispanic electorate in Florida, the overwhelming majority (93%) of Hispanic voters identified as white, with an additional 3% identifying as Black or African American.

      Florida: Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

      Race / Ethnicity 2016 2020 Change, 2016-2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2020
      White 8,790,000 9,274,000 +483,000 5.5%
      Black / African American 1,901,000 2,094,000 +193,000 10.2%
      Native / Indigenous American 49,000 61,000 +11,000 22.7%
      Asian & Pacific Islander 347,000 357,000 +10,000 3.0% Share of Overall Growth, 2016-2020
      Hispanic 2,560,415 3,146,000 +585,000 22.9% 42.4%
      Mixed 92,000 191,000 +98,000 106.4%
      Total 13,740,000 15,121,000 +1,382,000 10.1%
      Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding. Hispanics are any person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Other races are non-Hispanic (e.g. non-Hispanic whites, etc.).

      Florida, Hispanic Voters by Race

      Race Share of Hispanic Voters
      White 93.2%
      Black / African American 3.3%
      Native / Indigenous American 0.4%
      Asian & Pacific Islander 0.4%
      Mixed 2.0%
      Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

      Florida: Hispanic Eligible Voters by Hispanic Ancestry

      Ancestry Share of Hispanic Voters
      Cuban 28.4%
      Puerto Rican 26.2%
      South American 20.8%
      Mexican 8.3%
      Central American 7.8%
      Dominican 5.9%
      Other Hispanic 2.5%
      Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.
      Florida, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in United States

        Florida, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in United States

        Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
        48.3 20.3 31.4
        Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

        Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

        Florida, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

        Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
        18 to 24 12.3%
        25 to 44 34.2%
        45 to 64 32.5%
        65 and Older 21.0%
        Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

        Nevada

        A majority Mexican American Hispanic electorate that skews older, more racially mixed, and more likely to be the children of immigrants than other states.

        Latino Exit Poll: 38% Trump, 61% Biden (source)

        Growth 2016-2020

        • The number of Hispanic eligible voters grew by almost 16%, from 337,000 to 389,000 between 2016 and 2020.
        • Hispanics made up about 17% of all new eligible voters in the state.

        Demographic Makeup

        • The vast majority (78%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Nevada were Mexican American.
        • Hispanic eligible voters in Nevada skew much older, with 21% of Hispanic voters being over 65 years old. Meanwhile only 12% of Hispanic voters were under 25.
        • Almost 38% of Hispanic voters in Nevada were children of immigrants, while another 38% were third-generation American or more.
        • Meanwhile, 23% of Hispanic voters in Nevada were immigrants.
        • Only 80% of Hispanic voters identified as white, while 17% identified as Native American or of mixed race.

        Nevada: Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

        Race / Ethnicity 2016 2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2020 Change, 2016-2020
        White 1,147,000 1,303,000 13.6% +156,000
        Black / African American 150,000 198,000 32.6% +49,000
        Asian & Pacific Islander 160,000 186,000 16.3% +26,000 Share of Overall Growth, 2016-2020
        Hispanic 337,000 389,000 15.6% +52,000 17.4%
        Mixed and Other 59,000 78,000 31.5% +19,000
        Total 1,852,000 2,154,000 16.3% +302,000
        Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding. Hispanics are any person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Other races are non-Hispanic (e.g. non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Asians, etc.).

        Nevada, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Race

        Race Share of Hispanic Voters
        White 80.0%
        Black / African American 2.6%
        Native / Indigenous American 7.4%
        Asian & Pacific Islander 1.4%
        Mixed 8.6%
        Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.
        Nevada, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

          Nevada, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

          Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
          23.8 37.8 38.4
          Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

          Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

          Nevada, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

          Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
          18 to 24 18.3%
          25 to 44 44.1%
          45 to 64 23.0%
          65 and Older 14.6%
          Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

          New Mexico

          An older, overwhelmingly U.S.-born Hispanic electorate with long roots in the United States.

          Latino Election Poll: 37% Trump, 56% Biden (source)

          Growth 2016-2020

          • The number of Hispanic eligible voters slightly decreased by 2%, from 517,000 to 508,000 between 2016 and 2020.

          Demographic Makeup

          • A slight majority (57%) of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico identified as Mexican American. Meanwhile, a significant minority identified simply as “Hispanic.” Nearly all people who identified solely as “Hispanic” reported being third-generation (or more) American.
          • Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico skew older, with 50% of Hispanic voters being over 45 years old. Meanwhile only 13% of Hispanic voters were under 25.
          • Uniquely, Hispanic voters in New Mexico were overwhelmingly U.S.-born, with 73% of Hispanic voters being third-generation American or more, and an additional 17% Hispanic voters being children of immigrants.
          • Meanwhile, less than 10% of Hispanic voters were immigrants.
          • The vast majority of Hispanic voters (95%) identified as white.

          New Mexico: Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

          Race / Ethnicity 2016 2020 Change, 2016-2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2020
          Non-Hispanic 865,000 915,000 +50,000 5.8%
          Hispanic 517,000 508,000 -9,000 -1.7%
          Total 1,382,000 1,423,000 +41,000 3.0%
          Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding. Hispanics are any person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Other races are non-Hispanic (e.g. non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Asians, etc.).

          New Mexico, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Race

          Race Share of Hispanic Voters
          White 94.6%
          Black / African American 0.9%
          Native / Indigenous American 1.7%
          Asian & Pacific Islander 0.6%
          Mixed 2.3%
          Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

          New Mexico, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Hispanic Ancestry

          Ancestry Share of Hispanic Voters
          Mexican 56.8%
          Hispanic, none specified 40.5%
          Other Hispanic 2.7%
          Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.
          New Mexico, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

            New Mexico, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

            Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
            9.7 17.4 72.8
            Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

            Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

            New Mexico, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

            Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
            18 to 24 13.2%
            25 to 44 36.9%
            45 to 64 30.9%
            65 and Older 19.0%
            Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

            Texas

            A largely U.S.-born, Mexican American electorate that identifies nearly universally as white.

            Latino Exit Poll: 41% Trump, 58% Biden (source)

            Growth 2016-2020

            • The number of Hispanic eligible voters grew by 16%, from 4,637,000 to 5,393,000 between 2016 and 2020.
            • The majority (71%) of new voters in the state between 2016 and 2020 were Hispanic.

            Demographic Makeup

            • The overwhelming majority (82%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Texas identified as Mexican American.
            • Hispanic eligible voters in Texas skewed overwhelmingly middle aged, with more than two-thirds of voters being between 25 and 65. Only less than 13% of Hispanic voters were over 65 years old. Meanwhile only 19% of Hispanic voters were under 25.
            • Hispanic voters in Texas were overwhelmingly U.S.-born, with almost half (48%) being third-generation American or more, and an additional 33% being U.S.-born children of immigrants.
            • Meanwhile, 19% of Hispanic voters were immigrants.
            • Hispanic voters in Texas nearly universally (96%) identify as white.

            Texas, Eligible Voters, 2016-2020

            Race / Ethnicity 2016 2020 Change, 2016-2020 Growth Rate, 2016-2020
            White 9,391,000 9,182,000 -209,000 -2.2%
            Black / African American 2,070,000 2,245,000 +175,000 8.5%
            Native / Indigenous American 73,000 85,000 +12,000 17.2%
            Asian & Pacific Islander 647,000 897,000 +250,000 38.6% Share of Overall Growth, 2016-2020
            Hispanic 4,637,000 5,393,000 756,000 16.3% 70.7%
            Mixed 159,000 245,000 +85,000 53.6%
            Total 16,977,000 18,047,000 +1,070,000 6.3%
            Source: 2016 and 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding. Hispanics are any person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Other races are non-Hispanic (e.g. non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Asians, etc.).

            Texas, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Race

            Race Share of Hispanic Voters
            White 95.9%
            Black / African American 1.4%
            Native / Indigenous American 1.7%
            Asian & Pacific Islander 0.3%
            Mixed 0.7%
            Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.
            Texas, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

              Texas, Hispanic Eligible Voters by Generations in the United States

              Immigrant Second Generation 3 Generations or More
              18.7 33.3 48
              Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

              Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

              Texas, Age Distribution of Hispanic Eligible Voters

              Age Group Share of Hispanic Voters
              18 to 24 18.9%
              25 to 44 38.5%
              45 to 64 30.1%
              65 and Older 12.5%
              Source: 2020 Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded from PUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Numbers may not total due to rounding.

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