“Hispanics” is a misleading racial category.
Tejanos have always lived in Texas. They voted for Trump. They might be Hispanics, but they are natives with deep roots in the area and don’t identify with immigrants.
“ZAPATA, Texas — Of all the results from the November 3 election, few drew as much attention from national political observers as what happened in a quiet county on the banks of the Rio Grande. Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Zapata County’s vote in a hundred years. But it wasn’t its turn from a deep-blue history that seemed to be the source of such fascination but rather that, according to the census, more than 94 percent of Zapata’s population is Hispanic or Latino.
Zapata (population less than 15,000) was the only county in South Texas that flipped red, but it was by no means an anomaly: To the north, in more than 95-percent Hispanic Webb County, Republicans doubled their turnout. To the south, Starr County, which is more than 96-percent Hispanic, experienced the single biggest tilt right of any place in the country; Republicans gained by 55 percentage points compared with 2016. The results across a region that most politicos ignored in their preelection forecasts ended up helping to dash any hopes Democrats had of taking Texas.
To many outsiders, these results were confounding: How could Trump, one of the most virulently anti-immigrant leaders, make inroads with so many Latinos, and along the Mexican border no less? …
Nearly everyone speaks Spanish, but many regard themselves as red-blooded Americans above anything else. And exceedingly few identify as people of color. (Even while 94 percent of Zapata residents count their ethnicity as Hispanic/Latino on the census, 98 percent of the population marks their race as white.) Their Hispanicness is almost beside the point to their daily lives. …
Chuck Rocha, who managed the Bernie Sanders campaign’s Latino outreach earlier this year, thinks South Texans’ votes are winnable—because he won them. Sanders, who ran to Biden’s left, got the highest vote share in most counties in the Rio Grande Valley region in the primary election. Rocha says it was because his campaign talked to South Texans about their issues, not just their identities. And Tejanos proved far more receptive to a pitch about a rigged economic system and health care than to generic appeals to their Hispanic heritage. …”
It wasn’t Trump’s identity politics pandering that caused this.
Undoubtedly, it was the Democrats promising to decriminalize illegal immigration on the border and all the Black Lives Matter and Antifa violence. It alienated Hispanics all across the country and particularly those like Cubans and Tejanos who identify as White anyway and reject socialism.