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President Trump has won the highest share of non-white voters of any Republican presidential candidate since 1960, according to preliminary results from Tuesday’s election.
Roughly one quarter of non-white voters cast their ballots for Trump, according to an Edison exit poll. If the poll is an accurate reflection of final results, Trump will have won over more non-white voters than any Republican since Richard Nixon, who won 32 percent of the non-white vote in 1960 but lost to John F. Kennedy. Trump will also have improved on his performance in the 2016 election when he won 21 percent of the non-white vote.
Democrats have attacked Trump as racist, including during the 2016 and 2020 elections. In the wake of the George Floyd demonstrations in late May, Democrats lashed out at Trump’s opposition to removing monuments of Confederate figures and the Confederate flag from public spaces, and have repeatedly invoked Trump’s 2016 comments in which he warned of Mexican “rapists” illegally crossing the border. The president has also opted to call coronavirus the “China virus,” which has unnerved Democrats concerned about anti-Asian racism.
However, the Edison poll showed that support for Trump rose among African Americans, Asians, and Latinos. In particular, 18 percent of black men voted for Trump in 2020 compared with 13 percent in 2016, and black women increased support for Trump from 4 percent in 2016 to 8 percent in 2020. Trump also roughly doubled his share of gay voters.
It appears that support among Latinos buoyed Trump victories in several key counties in the Sun Belt. Trump was able to score a win in Zapata County, Texas, by 52-to-47 percent over Joe Biden. The county’s population is 94.7 percent Hispanic, and elected Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016 by 65-32 percent.
Additionally, Latino voters in Miami-Dade County, Fla., helped propel Trump to victory in that crucial swing state.