Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign is coming under fire for their Latino outreach efforts or rather lack thereof. As more than 32 million Latinos are expected to vote in November, Biden's campaign has failed to rectify the Obama administration's tough deportation policies for illegal aliens, POLITICO reported.
Instead of attempting to reach out and form a relationship with this group of voters, Biden's campaign appears to be turning a blind eye to Latinos, at least that's what Democratic operatives believe.
"I do not think that the Biden campaign thinks that Latinos are part of their path to victory," Jess Morales Rocketto, the former digital organizing director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, told POLITICO.
According to The Week, more than 20 Democratic operatives believe Hispanics are vital to Biden's success this November, especially in states like Arizona and Texas that could be flipped. But the operatives don't see outreach efforts or any kind of ground game from the Biden campaign. The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has made that outreach even more difficult.
From POLITICO (emphasis mine):
The campaign has refused to release statistics on the diversity of its staff — details many of his former opponents shared early in the primary — and a majority of a dozen recent high-level hires were white. And Biden has neither spoken to nor been formally endorsed by one of the highest-profile Latino politicians in the country, Julián Castro, since he won.
Biden had a tense relationship with many Latino groups during the primary, stemming largely from his connection to the Obama administration's aggressive deportation policy. The former vice president recently acknowledged that that policy was misguided and he has moved toward progressives on immigration.
But the campaign's disconnect with Latinos appears to be based more on lack of execution than on policy. Cash-strapped coming out of the primary and hemmed in by the coronavirus, its efforts to reach Latino voters have been lackluster, critics in the community say. The fact that Latinos weren't central to his primary strategy has meant Biden's campaign has more ground to make up.
“Right now I can't tell what their strategy is with the Latino community. I just don't see it,” said one Latino lawmaker who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “They have a lot of people out there willing to help, but they're not engaging many people outside of the ones who were part of their campaign originally.”
All of this will come down to whether or not Biden is able to win over Latinos who once supported progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). As of now, Sanders enthusiasts are not thrilled with Biden as the presumptive nominee.
Biden was so focused on trying to win over African Americans in the south that he forgot about people in flyover states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. He forgot about Latinos in the southwest, like California, Arizona and Texas.
This is definitely something that the Trump campaign can and will benefit from.