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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Despite numerous efforts to increase women’s political power, men continue to rule in the Latino community

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In a scientific analysis of all 8 million Latino registered voters, published by the Pew Research Center in June, more than half of likely Latino voters in the United States – 56 percent — supported Democratic candidates in 2016.

According to the same survey, however, just over half of Latino men – 55 percent – back the Democrats. That is far and away higher than support for Hillary Clinton among Latino women, at 37 percent. As a result, Latinos under 50 years old overwhelmingly favored Clinton in 2016, with 66 percent favoring the Democrat. But in other age groups, including those over 50, Clinton trailed by a greater margin. And that generational gap is not unique to Latinos.

“I had never seen Hispanic men or Latino women line up behind one party,” said Anthony Reynoso, a former major with the New York City Police Department and co-author of the Pew report. “I think they go with the flow, because they are mostly behind the scenes.”

Mr. Reynoso said women often make up the majority of the crowd in community centers where his organization operates, providing parenting workshops to low-income women who have lost custody of their children. “They’ll call my office and want to know ‘How do I get my child back?’ ” he said. “But the men, usually when you go into an English-language group, the men will still put their shirt on.”

The discrepancy between men and women in most other demographic groups is far smaller. Asked about their political choices in a Pew survey conducted in July, 57 percent of white women said they were supporting Trump, while only 32 percent of white men were. Democratic support was also higher for African-American men (70 percent) than women (56 percent). Support for Democrats was higher among Asian-American men (60 percent) than Asian-American women (52 percent). And although Americans are increasingly polarized by gender, white men are most willing to support Democratic candidates – 69 percent of them did so in an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted last month.

In the 2016 general election, Trump drew 55 percent of white men to support him, according to exit polls. Mr. Reynoso said one reason that support among Latino men has not increased over time may be that many Latino men in the United States still prefer Republican politicians. “I think Latinos overall – here in New York, for example – like some of the reforms of the Republican Party,” he said. “Hispanic people in New York typically tend to be more conservative on social issues.”

Latinos who supported Mr. Trump in 2016 said his immigration policy was the key reason for their decision. But Mr. Reynoso said that was not the case with Hispanic men, whose support of the Republican Party dropped after Trump called for building a wall along the Mexican border, repeated his demand for a registry of Muslim immigrants and promised to end DACA, the Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“We all remember when Trump introduced the fact that he wanted to build a wall, we were all like, ‘Really, guys? That’s it?’ ” Mr. Reynoso said. “All the subsequent versions of Trump’s campaign, it became really clear that they were not listening to what the Mexican community wanted.”

To move beyond political labels, some Latinos have, like Mr. Reynoso, changed occupations. Many, like Francisco Cardona, who works for a real estate firm in New York City, switched to data analysis. Others are working on building the party, such as Ana Cirillo, who founded a group, Latinos for Trump, in the summer of 2016. This year, however, as she noted during the 2016 election, support for Mr. Trump has continued to be a main factor for many.

“I think many more Latinos think about Republicanism right now as a resistance,” Ms. Cirillo said. “We’re looking to his agenda on protecting the American dream, from the immigration standpoint, [his hard line on national security].”

It is not known how many women are Republicans in the United States, but this October more than 4,200 women are running for 573 state-level offices. Mr. Reynoso thinks that many women will consider backing Democrats in the coming years, but not all.

“That was one of the things that motivated me to run for City Council,” he said, referring to the election in November of first-time candidate Rafael Espinal, who has portrayed himself as a centrist. “A lot of women support Republicans in the sense that they want the Republican Party to stop being marginalized.”

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