INDIANAPOLIS — President Trump secured the Hoosier state early on election night. But that was not necessarily the case across the country. Many battleground states are still in limbo. With strong feelings on either side, we wanted to understand what prompted people to vote for either candidate.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic and through the inaction of our current president, people are dying,” says Brandon Evans, who voted for Joe Biden.
Whether it be because of the president’s handling of the coronavirus, “I think it’s healthcare and immigration, because one in four Latinos knows of someone who has been deported,” says Cynthia Morraz, who also voted for Joe Biden.
“People really just wanted to get rid of President Trump. Across the board they wanted to get rid of him,” says Evans.
These two democrats say they voted for former vice president Joe Biden.
“I believe the Latino community deserves respect. We are American,” says Morraz. “And I think these election results just demonstrate the power of our community, the power of our youth who have turned of age and have showed up to the polls.”
On the other hand, Susan Blair says, “I believe in limited government, I believe in sovereignty, I believe in freedom and liberty. And so I voted for President Trump.”
Republicans like Blair feel President Donald Trump has honored his campaign promises and he’s the one who can help the economy rebound from the pandemic.
“So you’re happy with the past four years with President Trump?” We asked.
“Yes. Now do I agree with everything President Trump has said? No. I don’t,” says Blair. “But at the same time, I’m more concerned with results than I am with rhetoric.”
“The main issues are public safety, national security, the economy,” says Carlos May, a Republican Latino.
“For the most part, the country has been going in the right direction,” says May. “Now, I’m not talking about personality. I’m not talking about things that people say. I’m talking about the economy, I’m talking about jobs.”
May says he’s not surprised that a sizable portion of Latinos voted for President Trump or that reports suggest he picked up more Latino voters in several battleground states compared to the president’s 2016 numbers.
“Venezuela, Cuba, they are going to vote Republican, because they hear Democrats people like AOC and Bernie Sanders talk about Socialism — ‘we want to increase social this, social that.’ They came from those countries and they saw firsthand how those policies did not work,” he says.
“Religion, and this is my assumption,” says Morraz, “is really really important in our culture and folks who are against abortion. They stand next to that issue. But also misinformation.”
Polls expected a “blue wave” of people to vote Democrat this election. But Republicans say, that’s because some didn’t feel comfortable sharing they were voting for Trump.
“I think they’re concerned about retaliation. Especially with all the riots that we’ve had this summer,” says Blair. “If I’m in a store and I have a Trump hat on, people will say, ‘I like your hat’ and a lot of times they do whisper it.”
“We put out hundreds of yard signs at polling places at early voting sites and every day I got a call from someone saying that all the signs were stolen from the city County building or from over in Wayne Township,” says Scott Zarazee, executive director for the Marion County Republican Central Committee. “So there is a certain amount of intimidation that’s going on toward Trump voters.”
The “silent Trump voter” having a larger impact than expected, as an energized generation of voters watches the results roll in for the future presidency still undetermined.
“We are seeing how close these races are and so people are realizing how much their vote actually counts,” says Evans.