Joe Biden to Launch $55 Million Latino Vote Campaign as Fight with Donald Trump to Win Over Hispanic Men Heats Up
Adrian Carrasquillo, Newsweek, May 5, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is launching a multimillion-dollar Latino vote campaign after recent polling showed lagging enthusiasm among the group, including evidence that he needed to invest heavily to attract Latino men to help him secure the presidency, Newsweek has learned.
Two sources familiar with the initiative told Newsweek the Biden campaign will spend $55 million on the campaign as part of an effort that includes targeting Hispanic men—a group President Donald Trump’s and his allies are already focusing on for the November 2020 election. Biden campaign officials confirmed the program is in the works and did not dispute the size of the program, but declined to give specific numbers because they said they are in a transitional planning period.
The plan will focus on states with large Latino populations such as Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, as well as targeted investments aimed at smaller Latino communities in the midwest states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where Trump won by razor-thin margins.
The 2020 election marks the first time Latinos are the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate, creating an opportunity for them to influence the nation’s presidential election than ever before. Analysis of Hispanic voters and outreach from Democratic groups has often targeted Latinas because they vote at higher rates and run the household, but there is now growing acknowledgment that the hopes and fears of Hispanic men must be considered, as well.
The issue of stronger outreach to Latino men has come into focus for Democrats in recent weeks.
A recent poll from Democratic firm Latino Decisions showed that Biden’s support with Latino men was 50 percent, compared with 34 percent for Trump. That number falls short of the 65 percent support Barack Obama received from Hispanic men in 2012 and the 63 percent Hillary Clinton received in 2016. Additional polling by Equis Research, a group started by Obama alumni Stephanie Valencia and Carlos Odio, put a finer point on the trend. According to interviews with 21,370 Latino voters in nine battleground states from July 2019 to December 2019, Equis found that while Latina support continued to tick up for Democrats, the support from Latino men for Trump has remained consistent throughout his presidency, sitting at 32 percent, the same it was in the 2016 election.
The Trump campaign and its allies recognize where the opportunity exists within the Latino community, as well. America First PAC told Newsweek they never really got traction during Trump’s presidency with women of color, including Latinas and black women, but they are “very much” focused on Hispanic men in key states like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. “These are basically red states or leaning-red,” America First spokesman Steve Cortes told Newsweek. “If we can chip away at Hispanic men that might be enough.”
“For every $1 the Trump campaign spends, I have to spend $5 convincing you that what you heard about Biden isn’t true and he’s not a bad guy,” Las Vegas Democratic strategist Andres Ramirez told Newsweek. “Republicans know that they just have to taint the water a few percentage points to force us to spend money to undo that.”