Updated Dec 23, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Inside Biden's plan to shore up Black and Hispanic support in 2024

Rashawn Spivey, CEO of Hero Plumbing, embraces President Biden as he arrives at an economic event at the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee on, Dec. 20, 2023. Photo: Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is planning to make more surgical trips to minority communities in 2024 to reinforce the paid advertising his campaign is broadcasting directly to Black and Hispanic voters, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: Team Biden knows that they need to drive up the president's numbers with Black and Hispanic voters – and convince them to turn out on election day.

  • The plan is to use the trappings of the presidency, including Air Force One sorties, for Biden to deliver his message directly to minority communities.

Driving the news: The emerging strategy was on display Wednesday, when Biden traveled to Milwaukee to highlight his administration's investment in Black-owned businesses.

  • On Friday, the White House announced that Biden would grant clemency to 11 people who were serving "disproportionately long sentences," for nonviolent drug offenses, including those with long crack cocaine convictions, a key priority for the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights groups.
  • Top Biden officials hosted Black male leaders at the White House this month for a strategy session on how to improve Biden's standing with Black voters.
  • Next year, the campaign's advertising budget will include "investments into African American and Hispanic media," Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Biden's campaign manager, wrote in a memo on Thursday.

By the numbers: To reassemble his winning coalition from 2020, Biden needs to dramatically improve his standing with Black, Hispanic and young voters.

  • Several recent surveys put Biden's level of Black support in the low 60% range, a shocking development for a demographic that supported Biden with 92% of the vote in the last election.
  • His approval rating among Hispanics is even lower, at 33% in a recent Pew survey. Former President Trump leads Biden by five percentage points in the demographic, according to a new CNBC survey. In 2016, Biden won 59% of the Latino vote, according to exit poll data.

Zoom out: From the outset of Biden's presidency, top officials have viewed local and specialized media as a tool to circumvent national new organizations and speak directly to voters.

  • While the national media often focus Biden's comments on the news-of-the-day, local broadcast stations often cover what the White House views as the purpose of the trip.
  • "When Black small businesses grow, everything benefits," Biden told the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee Wednesday, generating the kind of local headlines the White House craves.

Zoom in: Earlier this month, the Biden campaign released a new ad, previewed by The Root, highlighting the administration's efforts to help Black farmers.

  • In September, the campaign ensured that a new ad on Biden's efforts to promote racial equality aired during a football game between the University of Colorado, coached by Deion Sanders, and the University of Southern California.
  • In October, Team Biden went up with radio ads on Hispanic-owned radio stations.
  • He is also relying on social media influencers to tout his record and micro-target his message to reach young voters.
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