HOUSTON - In Texas, more Latinos voted for President Trump this election than in 2016.
According to FOX News/AP exit polls, 39% of Latino men voted for President Trump this year compared to 32% in 2016. Among Latino women, it was 34% versus 25% in 2016.
One of the most noted shifts was in the Rio Grande Valley where the margin between the Democratic and Republican candidates narrowed. In Zapata County, President Trump won 53 percent of the vote.
Dr. Jeronimo Cortina, a political scientist with the University of Houston, calls it an outlier.
"The numbers decrease dramatically -- the margin of victory for Biden over there. However, Biden won the region and a win is a win," he said.
Dr. Cortina says surveys UH did in the region showed the President's supporters did more outreach than Democratic groups.
"Despite the presence, despite the great number of meetings and mobilizations and so on, Democrats were able to defend the region," he noted.
Republican Tony Salas of Houston sees it differently. The Houstonian ran for Texas House District 145.
"I think it's really a reflection of what's going to happen in the next election in two years and the next one," Salas said.
He believes Latinos voters are gaining a better understanding of the values of each party and Latino Catholics and evangelicals, like what President Trump stands for.
He says the Trump campaign supported his campaign and Latino conservative groups with outreach.
"They organized very well because I saw the shirts. I saw the signs," Salas added referring to Latinos for Trump branding.
Christina Morales, Democratic State House Representative for District 144, says she feels sad the national Democratic Party didn't do more to reach Latino voters.
"I do believe, probably through social media, President Trump did a better job of reaching out to this community," Morales told FOX 26.
She hopes party leaders will invest more in understanding the different groups within the Latino community.
"It's not just all immigration. You don't just talk about immigration and think you're going to have their vote. I think as Democrats all of us need to work on that," she added. "It takes more time, money and effort and you can't wait until the last minute to do it. You have to start working on those now. So, we have our work cut out for us."
Cortina says they are still waiting on data to analyze the Latino voter turnout in Harris County.
He also noted that the border region has been hit hard by COVID-19 and asks if that could have deterred some voters to turn out for Vice President Biden.