Mar 19, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris campaign launches push for Latino voters

President Biden and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who appears in Biden's campaign videos reaching out to Latinos.

President Biden and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who's featured in the Biden-Harris campaign's video launching it's Latino voter initiative. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will use a stop at a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix today to announce a national program to reach Latino voters — "Latinos con Biden-Harris" — as his campaign rushes to reverse gains that former President Trump appears to be making with Hispanic voters.

Why it matters: Four years ago, Biden won Latino voters 2-to-1 over former President Trump, according to exit polls. But recent polls indicate that Democrats' longtime advantage with Latinos — the fast-growing segment of the U.S. population — is diminishing.

  • Biden's campaign knows that the president will need to maintain his Latino typical support levels to recreate his winning coalition from 2020, which also relied on running up big margins with Black and young voters.

Driving the news: Biden is traveling to Nevada and Phoenix this week, followed by a fundraising trip through Texas, as part of his administration's post-State of the Union push to try to shore up Biden's base and motivate his voters.

  • "The Latino vote was critical to the President's victory in 2020, and 2024 will be no different," said Biden-Harris 2o24 campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez.
  • The campaign has tapped Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), the campaign's co-chair, to explain the key roles Latinos will play in the campaign.
  • The campaign also is targeting Black voters with new television ads — running in swing states and streaming over some of the NCAA basketball tournament's games — that warn Trump's return would be a "disaster" for Black Americans.
  • "The stakes are extremely high for Black America," Quentin Fulks, principal deputy campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, said in a statement.

What we're watching: Democrats tend to dismiss polling that indicates their margins with Blacks and Hispanics are collapsing by double digits, with some pointing to the sample sizes of such polls being too small.

  • But Nate Silver — founder of FiveThirtyEight who now writes at substack — takes a different view.
  • Drawing from aggregated data from Split Ticket, Silver notes that "Biden is now only winning Hispanics by 7 percentage points — down from 24 points in 2020 — and Black voters by 'only' 55 points, as compared with 83 points in 2020."

The other side: Trump, the presumed GOP nominee, also plans to target Latino voters but his team appears divided on the best way to reach them.

  • After a backlash from RNC members, Trump's new team at the Republican National Committee is reversing its plans to cut the party's community centers for minority voters.

Zoom out: The Biden campaign is dividing the battleground states into three broad regions, starting with Democrats' "Blue Wall" in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to Chávez Rodríguez.

  • Next are the western battle grounds, including Nevada — where Democrats lost the governorship in 2022 — and Arizona, a state that backed Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020.
  • About a quarter of Arizona voters who cast a ballot in November are expected to be Latino, Axios Latino has reported.
  • Biden's campaign also is focusing on keeping Georgia blue and winning North Carolina for the first time since former President Obama won in 2008.
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