Column: How will the Latino vote go in 2024?

Collage of photos of Trump, I voted stickers, ballots
(Elana Marie / For De Los )

It’s hardly controversial to say that it’s been a difficult few years. Between a pandemic, the backsliding of our nation’s institutions and the myriad horrors abroad, many Americans, quite understandably, would like nothing more than an entire year of peace and quiet.

Well, too bad! It’s officially 2024, which means it’s an election year, a time when we as a nation put our similarities aside to focus on our differences and what we hate about each other. It’s also a time for those of us in the pundit class to rise to the occasion and bravely do what God put us on this Earth to do: Hedge our bets.

Of particular importance this cycle is the coveted Latino vote, a cryptid that, if captured, will grant either party its deepest desire, like “Texas going blue” or “the collapse of the state of California.” Determining how Latinos will move this year is key to predicting which way our country will swing, be it “hell, but slightly nicer to gay people” or “Turbo Hell 5000 (Homophobia Deluxe).”

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Yes, the stakes are high, and I’m here to offer my counsel. Here are my thoughts on the Latino vote in 2024.

A man holds a sign saying Latinos for Trump.
In May 25, 2016, a man holds up a sign for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before the start of a rally at the Anaheim Convention Center.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Latino voters will turn to Trump in droves

Sure, Trump descended a golden escalator in 2015, unhinged his jaw and basically proclaimed Latinos enemy numero uno. But the thing is, he was targeting those Latinos, the ones that aren’t coming here “the right way.” Paradoxical as it might seem to anyone who’s never met a conservative Latino uncle, there are many Latinos out there who don’t wish to be associated whatsoever with those who do manual labor and speak Spanish and refuse to assimilate.

That is to say, Latinos have never really been the solidly blue voting bloc they’re often made out to be. Just look at a recent CNBC survey saying that Trump has garnered a five-point lead among Latino voters against Biden, who only recently held a seven-point lead over the disgraced former president in October.

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Jan. 12, 2024

Whether you feel it’s fair or not, Joe Biden’s approval ratings are in the toilet that no one wants the job of cleaning (shoutout to Kelly Osbourne), and although the outlook on the economy is starting to cheer somewhat, the dark cloud of inflation has led many, including Latinos, to determine that the Democrats aren’t doing a good job, opening up a pipeline to the GOP, whose brand is “we would sacrifice every grandmother in the country if it made the stock market smile.”

This is bad news for Democrats, who spent all that time funneling Latinos into this country. Despite their pinky promises to vote blue no matter who, it seems Latinos are warming to the “they’re not sending their best” guy. They might even hand him his second term.

A man holds a sign saying "Trump not welcome here."
Miguel de Anda, born and raised in El Paso, holds a sign reading “Trump Not Welcome Here” at a protest against then-President Trump’s visit following a mass shooting, which left at least 22 people dead, on Aug. 7, 2019.
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

No they won’t

On the other hand, claims that Latinos are becoming conservatives might be overblown. In fact, a recent poll by UnidosUS, a nonprofit Latino advocacy organization, says it’s Republicans who are struggling to find purchase on the slippery Latino voting bloc: A scant 25% of Latinos report believing that the GOP cares about their community, a decrease from 35% in 2022.


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Recently, Biden packaged foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel into a deal that included stricter border policies, a move to secure Republican support. It’s been suggested that this has contributed to his eroding support among Latinos. But if it’s true that Latinos still care about immigration, then wait until they’re reminded of how Trump feels about immigrants.

Donald Trump holds a Bible
Former President Trump holds a Bible on June 1, 2020, as he visits outside St. John’s Church near Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

But religious values will turn Latinos rightward

Many of the hot-button social issues that have come to dominate public discourse have to do with gender identity and social justice, which is alienating to a voting bloc that takes Catholicism very seriously.

Although Pope Francis has taken some recent steps toward “not hating gay people,” Latinos are nonetheless turned off by the Democrats’ embrace of identity politics. This is a group of people with deep family values, who go to church and almost uniformly have a framed copy of “The Last Supper” painting hanging over the kitchen table. Every time a Democratic politician uses “Latinx” in a fundraising email, a Mexican American voter gets his MAGA hat.

A group of women hold up fists
Women protest against Texas’ restrictive abortion law at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.
(Jay Janner / Associated Press)

Except on abortion, the most Catholic value ever

Well, except, never mind. According to Pew Research, roughly two-thirds of Latinos say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. This is especially pronounced among young Latinos, 7 in 10 of whom hold this position.


This is interesting, as Latinos are often characterized as people of deep faith, but as someone who grew up Catholic, I can attest that the Catholic Church puts abortion at the tippy top of its concerns. Maybe Catholicism is more of a vibe, a mood, an aesthetic. Maybe it’s something abuelitas embrace for the purposes of home decor. There’s no real way of knowing. That’s just not the kind of question that finds its way into polls or surveys.

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Regardless, what’s important to know here is that Latinos are Catholic, and their Catholicism is making them more Republican in a world where progressive nonsense about pronouns has run amok, but also, abortion will make them vote Democrat in droves. Not hard to understand.

A man poses for a photo in front of a giant I Voted image.
Anthony Robles of Garden Grove poses as his sister, Daniela Robles, takes a photo of him after they voted early at the Honda Center on Nov. 2, 2020, in Anaheim.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Latinos hold the key to victory

Regardless of how they vote, the fact remains that Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation, and the decisions they make in the upcoming election will shape the future of this country.

But Latinos don’t vote, so ...

It is what it is.

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There’s still plenty of time for things to change

In “election year time,” a day can be a month, and a month might as well be a year. We’re still far afield from hitting the ballot box, and there’s truly no telling what might happen between now and then . Recall, if you will, the road up to 2020. Things were yo-yoing back and forth right up to the 11th hour.


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Well, I think we covered all the bases. It’s important to remember that Latinos aren’t a monolith, the category being broad enough to encompass both my abuelita who did manual labor and struggled with English, and Nick Fuentes, a far-right white supremacist. It’s sort of a marketing category that got a bit carried away. Maybe it’s not as useful of a framework as we’ve been led to believe.

In any case, it’s fake, but it’s real, and it’s religious, but it’s not, and it will decide the outcome of the 2024 elections, and it won’t, because too many people won’t vote because they’re not engaged, or because there are institutional hurdles in place to voting. Should we go back to saying Hispanic? That could be fun.

Either way, have a great year! Or don’t.