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Former 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro told "Axios on HBO" that Democrats could win the presidency in November but lose support with Latino voters, which could "benefit the Republicans in the years to come."

Driving the news: The Democratic National Convention, happening this week, has been criticized by some for featuring too few Latino speakers. Castro, the only Latino presidential candidate this cycle, was not asked to be one of the featured, solo speakers.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is only speaking for one minute.
  • A group of 225 DNC delegates petitioned for her to "be given enough time to demonstrate respect for her and the constituencies she represents."

Why it matters: Latinos will be the largest non-white voting bloc in the 2020 election for the first time in history. Now, some — like Castro — are sounding the alarm on how the Democratic Party isn't investing enough in these voters and the Latino community.

What they're saying: "I think that we could win the battle and lose the war," Castro told "Axios on HBO" of Democrats' chances this fall. "We could win in November, but you could see a potential slide of Latino support for Democrats."

  • But it's not just the Democratic Party, he said. The Latino community has "been demonized, especially in the era of Donald Trump, as other, as foreign," Castro said.
  • "I think in every way in American society ... there's this image of the Latino community as though everybody got here five minutes ago," he added.

Castro said he's confident Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will win the election and the Latino vote, but stressed that the Biden campaign has "to make sure that they are doing everything they can to reach out to a community that already has one of the lowest rates of voting, that needs to be brought into the fold."

  • Castro said that could help win states like Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
  • "But maybe more importantly, ensuring that the Latino community is a robust part of this coalition going forward" is the goal, he said. "Or else you're going to see a slide that will benefit the Republicans in the years to come."
  • Reflecting on his time running for president, Castro said: "It's also true, and I saw this very clearly, that the Latino community too oftentimes is invisible. It's an afterthought."

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

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