Biden, bipartisan candidate against Trump
“Joe Biden is not a born leader, especially at 78. But he has always moved in the spheres of power. He has worked across party lines, bringing together those who, for various reasons, didn’t want Donald Trump in the White House for another four years. That is why he has won”, Érika Rodríguez Pinzón, a sociologist from the National University of Colombia who specializes in citizen participation in electoral processes and political life, tells Sol de Medianoche.
For Érika Rodríguez, “Trump has indeed been a leader, despite his 74 years. But a populist leader. And, although he has now lost, the electoral results have been very tight. Therein lies his danger.
Trump, the “bold scoundrel”
Rodriguez Pinzon has written in the Spanish digital newspaper elDiario.es that Trump is “the bold, talkative and shameless scoundrel. He is the symptom of a country in crisis, which after four years of being the protagonist of a parody of government, doesn’t receive a resounding punishment. Probably, if it weren’t for COVID-19 he would have been reelected.
Érika Rodríguez also specializes in Latin American economics and politics. She’s a researcher in various European and American universities and is currently working in Spain, as an analyst for the Fundación Alternativas (linked to the Socialist Party in the Spanish government) and as a professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Record of participation
Is Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris victory due to a mobilization of the Democratic vote? “No,” says Érika Rodríguez, “because the Democratic vote has mobilized as much as the Republican vote. In fact, in this presidential election, all historical records of participation have been shattered. But there hasn’t been a majority trend in favor of one candidate or another because of their political color”.
“There has been --Rodríguez Pinzón continues to explain-- a mobilization of the unconditional, fanatical and radical supporters of Trump’s populist discourse and another mobilization in the opposite direction, calm, which, more than in favor of Biden as a democrat, has expressed itself at the ballot box against a crazy and xenophobic president”.
In electoral matters, citizen participation in Alaska has traditionally been low, but it is logical in the 49th State, the largest of all, and where the climate, the dispersion of the population and the absence of terrestrial communications do not motivate people to vote.
The Latino Vote
And the Latino vote? Érika Rodríguez Pinzón points out that “the first thing to ask is if there is such a thing as the ‘Latino vote’. In public opinion research it exists, because the origin of the voter is one of the characteristics that are recorded in the surveys, in order to observe their behavior as a group. Likewise, Latinos count from a survey point of view, as long as there are states with a large concentration of Hispanic population.
“However,” adds Erika, “the radically different results from the city of Miami and the State of Arizona, for example, suggest that the idea of the ‘Latino vote’ is controversial and deserves more careful analysis. Hispanics don’t necessarily act as a bloc and campaigns aimed at mobilizing them need to take into consideration many more details. This is what Trump did when he included in his campaign items from the national political agendas of major migrant-sending countries.
In this way, issues such as the peace agreement in Colombia or that of former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro jumped borders to mingle with other more common ones, such as Bolivarianism or the Cuban dictatorship. This strategy appeals to political polarization, also present in Latin America”.