Donald Trump did markedly better in the 2020 election among Hispanic voters who did not go to college, mirroring an educational divide among White voters and showing a potential path for future Republican candidates.
An extensive analysis of the election by the Pew Research Center released on Wednesday showed that Trump won 41% of Hispanic voters without a college degree, compared to 30% of college-educated Hispanics.
Overall, Hispanic voters lean Democratic, with the Pew survey showing that President Joe Biden won them with 59% support.
But Trump’s improvement with Hispanics compared to his performance in 2016 set off alarm bells among Democrats due to their importance in battleground states like Arizona and Florida and the fact that they are the second-fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
Post-election reports by Democratic groups have attributed Trump’s relative success to his focus on the economy in 2020 rather than immigration, which he highlighted in 2016; and concerns about socialism among immigrants who fled regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.
According to Pew, Trump received 38% of the Hispanic vote in 2020, significantly higher than the 25% Republican candidates for the House received in 2018.
But there was a wide education gap.
Biden won college-educated Hispanic voters 69% to Trump’s 30%, but his advantage among non-college educated Hispanic voters narrowed to 55% to Trump’s 41%, according to the Pew survey.
There was a similar, though more stark, education gap among White non-Hispanic voters. Biden won 57% of White college graduates, while Trump won 65% of White voters without a college degree.
There was no education gap among Black voters, who voted for Biden over Trump, 92% to 8%.
The Pew Research Center surveyed 11,818 adults in November 2020 through its American Trends Panel, an online survey panel recruited through national random sampling of telephone numbers and residential addresses.
The poll’s margin of sampling error was plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.
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