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Politics & Government

What Exit Poll Data Tells Us About The Latinx Vote In MI

Latino Community Foundation

There’s been a fair amount of attention given this election cycle on how Latinx people would vote.

Early exit poll data suggests Latinx voters in Michigan overwhelmingly supported President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.

Angela Ocampo is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. 

While Ocampo said we can glean some information from exit poll data in Michigan, the data is not a representative sample of voters from marginalized groups. In Michigan, exit poll data surveyed nearly 3,000 voters but Latinx and Black American voters only made up 3% of those surveyed. 

“We know that historically exit polls have not been quite representative of racial and ethnic groups,” Ocampo said. “And we've known this kind of historically, this was the case in 2016, and has been the case for a really long time, that these exit polls may not be necessarily the most accurate when it comes to racial and ethnic minority.” 

In Michigan, the candidates received 76 and 22 percent of the vote respectively, but this voting bloc is not monolithic, and their political opinions vary widely.

Ocampo said Latinx voters in Florida, who are largely Cuban Americans that are not U.S. born turned out for Trump more than any other state. Though Biden still won most of the vote there among this voting bloc.

According to exit poll data from the American Election Eve Poll, in Florida Trump received 38% of the Latinx vote and Biden received 59%.

In Michigan, Latinx voters are largely U.S. born Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans who tend to lean progressive. 

“These things into context demonstrate how the Mexican American vote has leaned and has gone in the direction the rest of the country has speaks to the similarities about their vote intent in the preferences for candidates,” Ocampo explained.

In this election, more than any others, exit poll data has shown the political differences among Latinx voters in the United States. Ocampo says it was this voting bloc that helped deliver a victory to Democrats in battleground states like Michigan, Arizona and Nevada.

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