Mayra Flores is the first Mexican-born woman to be elected to the House of Representatives with the Republican Party. It was in the special election in the 34th district of Texas. It is just one of the signs that something is moving the Hispanic electorate. It comes at the worst time for Democrats.
In fact, according to a report written by John Billings, executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, quoted by The Hill, "Flores' victory in the special election in Texas' 34th district is a testament that Republicans have a winning message among Hispanic voters, and that no Democrat is safe in today's political environment.
Perhaps there is some triumphalism in this last statement. But it is true that we are seeing several changes that favor them among Hispanic voters. That district is the second largest Hispanic voting district in the country, and had voted Democratic continuously for more than a century.
An increasingly "independent" voter
One of the reasons for Flores' victory may be that he focused his campaign on the incidence of inflation. According to The Hill, the organization Future Majority, close to the Democratic Party, has conducted a survey of Hispanic voters in the states of Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The survey shows that inflation is the number one concern among Hispanics.
The same poll offers encouraging results for the Democrats, such as their assessment of their candidates or of Joe Biden himself. But the head of the polling firm acknowledges that Hispanics "are an increasingly independent-minded electorate". That is, their preferences for Democrats are less automatic.
Covid and inflation
Eric García, from El Independent in Spanish, provides a more in-depth analysis. García has gathered the analysis of Abraham Enriquez, founder and president of the Latino conservative group Bienvenido U.S., who has been a member of the U.S. Latino Conservative Group for the past three years.
Enriquez recalls that the pandemic affected Hispanic businesses more than the pandemic as a whole, causing many to take a negative view of the Democratic Party. "Many of these businesses had to close for good," Enriquez adds. "You come out of a pandemic, you start to get back into the swing of things. And then you get to a 40-year record inflation that makes it even worse."
And all of this against a backdrop of some neglect by the Democratic Party, which takes the Hispanic vote for granted: "They have the power to push legislation and laws that can help Latinos and their business community - specifically the small business community. Nothing is getting done. So when you are in control of DC and you hace the ability to get things odone, but you're not doing it, it forces voters to look for another option."
According to 538, specialized in data analysis, Republicans could make gains among the Hispanic vote in this year's elections. One of the reasons is that younger and unlikely voters are also the most favorable to the Republican Party. And that this disinterest in voting could fall at a time of crisis like this.