These Black and Hispanic Biden Voters Plan to Vote for Trump
These Black and Hispanic Biden Voters Plan to Vote for Trump

By Beth Brelji, Lawrence Wilson, T.J. Muscaro and Nathan Worcester

When Wender Angeles arrived in the United States from Peru in 2006, he registered to vote as a Democrat because he related the party to the word “democracy.” He got involved with the party and voted for Barack Obama.

As he learned more about the two parties, he felt the Republican Party was a better fit.

“Later on, I was like, oh wait, this is not what I believe. But at the beginning, I was basically surrounded by Democrats,” Mr. Angeles told The Epoch Times in his family’s Exeter, Pennsylvania, living room.

“The Republican Party is more conservative. I am like that. I am a very traditional person. My wife and I, we basically are God’s people.”

Mr. Angeles is one among a large group of Hispanic and black voters who have moved away from the Democrat Party in the past eight years.

An April poll from The Wall Street Journal shows that 30 percent of black men in battleground states intend to vote for former President Donald Trump. Hispanic voters who lean Republican are approaching parity with those who lean Democrat.

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll indicates that the percentage of Black voters favoring President Trump over the past four years has risen by 19 points.

With his wife Leslie at his side and their four children, ages 5 to 18, listening in, Mr. Angeles, 38, said that his political shift stemmed from a desire to do what’s best for his family.

“My main thing in this world is my family. I like to take care of my family very well. I like to fight for my family. I like to think that my family, in the future, will be in a good environment and in a good community.”

Mr. Angeles works at a battery factory. On the side, he repairs and flips homes.

He compares everything in the United States to Peru, and he is troubled.

“When we were kids, life over there wasn’t good,” Mr. Angeles said. As they go back to visit, it has become 10 times worse, he said. People earn $300 to $400 a month yet the cost of food is more expensive than in the United States.

“The things I’m seeing right now, I saw in Peru 20 years ago,” Mr. Angeles said, pointing to what he sees as eroding family values and people acting disrespectfully to those with opposing views.

“I don’t want that. I don’t want this country, where I have my family, to go that way. Because I know how that feels. I’ve seen it before. And I don’t want to see it again.

(L–R) Ayleen Angeles, Ariana Angeles, Aliah Angeles, Adrian Angeles, Wender Angeles, and Leslie Angeles in their home in Exeter, Pa., on April 23, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Rikeysha Brown, 34, a Burton, Michigan, social worker, voted for Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden. She lost confidence in President Biden almost immediately after the 2020 election.

“I’m not happy with all the illegal immigrants coming into this country,” Ms. Brown told The Epoch Times. “I’m afraid for our country. We’re doing a lot for the rest of the world but we’re getting nothing back.”

She sees President Trump as the stronger leader, especially in dealing with terrorism. Ms. Brown values her Christian faith, which conflicts with President Biden’s social agenda, particularly relating to homosexuality and transgender policy.

“Trump speaks the truth,” she said, though his communication style is not always to her taste. “I had to get used to that.”

She believes he is “anointed and called” to be president.

“He is the chosen one.”

Before President Trump traveled to the Bronx in New York in late May for a campaign event, President Biden released an advertisement targeting black voters.

“Donald Trump disrespecting black folk is nothing new,” the ad said.

Some black voters say they don’t feel disrespected.

Alexandra Knoten, a black woman from Georgia, was a self-described “true Democrat.” Watching her family and friends vote blue, being a Democrat was “ingrained” in her. In recent years, she started paying attention and doing her own political research. She decided to vote for President Trump after comparing how things were when he was in office to how things are now with President Biden.

When Ms. Knoten announced her plan to switch sides, the feedback from family, friends, and coworkers was “a lot of positivity,” both in terms of expressing pride for her ability to speak her mind and respect for each other’s own opinions, she told The Epoch Times.

Rickeysha Brown at her home in Burton, Mich., on May 7, 2024. (Cher Lynne Photography for The Epoch Times)

“A lot of people are thinking of voting Republican for the next election,” she said. “A lot are actually switching over and I’m actually pretty surprised.”

Gallup surveys show more black and Hispanic voters switching parties since the 2020 election. The survey found that 77 percent of polled black adults identified as Democrats or leaning Democratic in 2020. That ratio had shrunk to 66 percent last year. The pollen is based on Gallup telephone surveys conducted throughout the year.

A similar trend is occurring among Hispanic voters. The number who identify as Republicans has grown from 26 percent in 2021 to 35 percent this year. Meanwhile, the number of Hispanics who identify as Democrats has dropped 10 percentage points to 47 percent.

“People are leaving the Democratic Party and becoming Republicans,” Republican Michael Rivera, an elected commissioner in Berks County, Pennsylvania, told The Epoch Times.

“Their money is worth less. Salaries have not kept pace with inflation. The border is a huge mess and the Biden administration is doing nothing about it. And the economy is going in the wrong direction.”

Mr. Rivera, who is Hispanic, notes that for years, political analysts have lumped minorities into the Democrat Party. He says that is changing as Hispanics are starting to see that Republican values align with their own.

“This opens up a huge opportunity for Republicans to regain the presidency and seats in Congress, as well as down-ballot seats. The Republicans cannot take anyone for granted if we want big wins in 2024. The other side of the coin is that Republicans need to work together and across the aisle to get things accomplished.”

Jeniffer Rodriguez, 39, came to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was 20. When she took the oath to become a citizen, she registered as a Democrat because it seemed to her that Hispanic people were Democrats.

Jeniffer Rodriguez in her home in Reading, Pa., on April 23, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

“That’s just how it is. You’re Hispanic? You’re Democrat. Republican is for—sorry for the expression—white, or rich people, or something like that.” Ms. Rodriguez, the mother of five in a blended family, spoke to The Epoch Times in her Reading, Pennsylvania, kitchen.

Under President Biden’s administration, she decided to change her affiliation and switch to Republican.

“I feel like he doesn’t go well with my goals—like the way that I want to raise my children. I feel like he goes a lot against my beliefs and things that I want to teach my children,” Ms. Rodriguez said. She also feels as if the administration is chipping away at her rights.

She says she believes in God, is opposed to abortion, and her vote is connected to that. Ultimately for Ms. Rodriguez, switching parties was for her kids and their future. She feels schools are pushing sexuality on kids before parents are ready to talk to them about it.

“I see on the news, on YouTube—everywhere—that parents are being treated like criminals because they try to defend their kids,” Ms. Rodriguez said.

Sometimes she meets other Hispanic people who are closeted Republicans.

They assume she is a Democrat, but as they start talking, sometimes party affiliation reveals itself, and they get excited to meet another like-minded person.

“We always say that we want things to change, but we never do anything about it, because we are basically afraid. We don’t want to get involved,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “If I don’t start, who’s going to do it?”

Orlando Owens, a black Republican activist in Milwaukee, tried to persuade former Biden voters who now favor Trump to speak with the media, even off the record.

He found many worried about having their identities revealed in a city where there can be real social and professional risks for those bucking the majority.

“I am in the heart of the Democratic stronghold to the point I can’t even put up a yard sign,” Mr. Owens told The Epoch Times, describing the atmosphere as one of “bullying and intimidation.”

Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in the South Bronx in New York City on May 23, 2024. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

For all that, he’s trying to change things. Mr. Owens’ Project Move the Needle is targeting several Milwaukee wards. He believes there’s change afoot, particularly among young black voters.

“This is an opportunity for Republicans to just listen to the people because right now the Democrats are not listening to the people,” he said.

Sharron Hall, 54, an emergency management specialist from Davison, Michigan, credits President Obama with helping her “see the light.” After voting for him in 2008, Ms. Hall says the Obama administration revealed what Democrats truly value.

“They’re either for homosexuality or abortion,” Ms. Hall told The Epoch Times. “It’s always something against God, against nature, and it’s just against my beliefs, so I had to leave.”

Ms. Hall gave President Trump her vote in 2020. “I still support Trump in 2024. I’m sticking with him,” she said.

President Trump is a strong leader who speaks plainly and delivers on promises, Ms. Hall believes.

“We’ve been lied to for years, and Trump is one of the first candidates for president, Republican or Democrat, that has been this transparent,” Ms. Hall said. “And I don’t think Trump is a jellyback when it comes to the borders. He’s not going to back down.”

Ms. Hall said President Biden has failed to deliver on his economic promises despite his claims to the contrary.

“We’ve got gas too high, we’ve got food prices too high … We have not seen more jobs. We have not had increases in our pay. None of this stuff is true,” Ms. Hall said.

Regardless of the outcome of the 2024 contest, there’s no going back, Ms. Hall says. “I’m done with the Democrats. Period.”

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