NBC News’ election night panel marveled at the fact that a majority of Latino voters supported Gov. DeSantis, R-Fla., in his re-election Tuesday night.
The massive Latino support for DeSantis prompted the panel, including NBC anchors Chuck Todd, Lester Host, Savannah Guthrie, MSNBC anchor José Diaz-Balart, to contemplate new strategies for reaching the community.
Todd claimed one consultant told him Democrats need to stop “putting Latinos in a box” and thinking one issue will decide their votes.
The panel made its observation while remarking on the returns of Gov. DeSantis’ race against Democratic opponent Charlie Crist. The incumbent beat Crist by nearly twenty points and flipped Miami-Dade County from blue to red after years of it being a Democratic Party stronghold.
Guthrie opened the discussion, claiming, “The Latino vote has been so interesting. We obviously have the results in from Florida, but Democrats cannot take the Latino vote for granted.”
Diaz-Balart replied to Guthrie, stating that Latinos are very diverse voters within their own community and should be treated as such. He stated, “I’m convinced that there is no Latino vote, there are just Latino voters and they vote differently depending on their sensitivity, their life experience, even where their parents and grandparents are from.”
Diaz-Balart mentioned that Latino voters make up 15% of the electorate in America, remarking, “That’s a massive amount of people.” He described how the Latino community showed up for DeSantis, who won the “majority Cuban vote, the majority of the Puerto Rican vote in that I-4 corridor.”
Diaz-Balart noted that DeSantis won “55% of the Puerto Rican vote, 50% of all the other Latino voters in the state of Florida.”
Summing up the trend, the MSNBC host said, “I think that it’s important to recognize the strength of the Latino vote throughout our country.” He also reiterated how the community isn’t one large voting monolith, adding, “It’s interesting, there really isn’t a Latino vote.”
Resonating with that claim, Todd replied, “I had a Democratic consultant say to me, ‘We gotta stop putting Latinos in a box and trying to like treat them as African Americans,’ That there’s one issue that will somehow unite – that Latino voters are just what José said.”
He added, “Stop trying to single them out, instead whatever your pitch at swing voters, pitch that to Latino voters… How we carve up the White vote in those different buckets, that’s how you – the Latino vote is no different.”