Voting Changes between the 2016 and 2020 Presidential Elections


Counties with a large Latino population saw a 53.8% increase in Republican support between the 2016 and the 2020 presidential elections. Votes for the Democratic candidates in these counties only increased by 28.9%.

A New Report from the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY Examines the Changes in Voting Patterns in Counties with Large Latino-Origin Populations in the United States.

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NEW YORK, February 12, 2021—The Graduate Center of The City University of New York’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) has released a report on the changes in voting patterns for the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections in counties across the United States with large Latino-origin populations.

The report, titled “Voting Changes between the 2016 and 2020 Presidential Elections in Counties Across the United States with Large Latino-Origin Populations” examines trends in votes cast between these two elections in the 101 counties in the country where Latinos comprised 50% or more of total populations; and in the 35 counties with the largest Latino populations.

The voting counts data for both years suggest aspects of Latino voter sentiments and how they changed in these two elections. In 66 of the 101 counties with more than half Latino residents, the Republican candidate won, increasing his number of votes by 54% from 2016 to 2020. President Biden received 29% more votes in 2020 than candidate Clinton in 2016. Of the 35 counties with the largest Latino populations, Democrats won 33 of them but Republican votes increased by 43% while Democratic votes rose by 31%.

Other key findings:

• Although the data available makes it impossible to determine precise Latino voting patterns because there are no data on voting by race/ethnicity, these findings suggest that support for the Republican candidate increased significantly in counties with large Latino populations despite the anti-immigrant, racist and xenophobic policies in his campaign.

• The increasing support for the Republican candidate in both election years should be a cause of concern among Democratic and Latino political leaders and organizers.

• There is no single “Latino vote.” Support for Clinton and Biden were the same among Latinos (66%) despite the increase in Republican support.

Contact Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría, Director of Quantitative Research, for a PDF of the report at

About The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

The core mission of CLACLS is to actively support and advance the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the U.S. in the doctoral programs of The Graduate Center, and to provide opportunities for Latino students at the Ph.D. level. CLACLS’s flagship program is the Latino Data Project, established in 2003 by Laird W. Bergad founding and current CLACLS director. Bergad is a distinguished professor in the Department of Latin American, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Lehman College and with the Ph.D. Program in History at The Graduate Center. The Latino Data Project conducts detailed quantitative research on the Latino population of the United States and New York City metropolitan region, analyzing raw data files produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies.

About The Graduate Center, CUNY

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.

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