Sat. May 18th, 2024

In a surprising twist, Biden finds himself up against a serious challenge from Trump for the Hispanic vote

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024

When President Biden visited a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz., last month, he begged the crowd for their support in his bid for reelection. 

“I need you badly,” Biden told the restaurant’s patrons. “I need the help. You’re the reason why, in large part, I beat Donald Trump.”

The reason behind the president’s solicitation was simple: Biden’s support among Hispanics — particularly young Latino men — is lukewarm. And in some cases, polls show he is losing support among the key Democratic voting bloc. At the same time, Trump appears to be gaining support from Hispanics.

A New York Times/Siena College survey out this week showed Biden with 50 percent support among Hispanics — which is historically low for a Democrat. Meanwhile, Trump’s support among Hispanics has grown to 41 percent, which is on the higher end for a Republican. 

Last week, an Axios/Ipsos survey showed Biden’s support among Hispanics dropping by 12 points from 53 percent to 41 percent over the last three years. And while support for Trump is still low at 32 percent, the former president has gained about 8 points with Hispanic voters since the 2021 poll.

“Most noteworthy is that Biden has fallen,” said Chris Jackson, a senior vice president of public affairs at Ipsos. “And that’s the real story.”

Jackson explained that the biggest worries among Hispanics surveyed are inflation and a significant rise in cost of living since Biden took office, issues that have also hurt Biden with other parts of the electorate. “Trump is getting a lot of credit for the prepandemic economy,” Jackson said. 

While a large part of Biden’s campaign messaging has focused on “saving democracy” — with a chorus centered on social issues including abortion — Jackson and other political observers say, for Hispanics, such concerns pale in comparison to day-to-day economic issues.

Another problem for Biden: If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gets on the ballot in states like Nevada and Arizona, as political observers predict, he could see further erosion in his support. 

Equis Research, a Democratic group, revealed research earlier this month in Politico that showed Kennedy winning support from 1 in 5 Latino voters.

The Biden campaign says they’re doing everything they can to grow their support among Hispanics.  Last month, when he stopped at the restaurant in Phoenix, it was part of a larger swing through Arizona and Nevada — two battleground states — to tout his economic policies to the Hispanic electorate. During that trip, Biden pointedly targeted Trump, saying his rival “despises Latinos.” 

Biden and Vice President Harris have also sat down for a string of interviews with Hispanic television and radio outlets. And the campaign has invested in a wave of paid media, an effort that started earlier than in previous cycles. They also have a number of outreach programs in battleground states like Arizona, aimed at Hispanic communities.  

“Republicans talk a lot of game, but Joe Biden actually delivers for Latinos,” said Maca Casado, the Hispanic media director for the Biden campaign. “That’s the difference and that’s the choice Latinos will face in November 2024: between an agenda that is lowering costs and investing in Latino communities and their businesses, and MAGA Republicans whose platform only serves the wealthy and powerful. 

“President Biden’s campaign knows Latinos’ political power and is investing early and aggressively to make his case because we won’t take their votes for granted,” Casado added. “Ultimately, the Latino vote must be earned, and only President Biden’s campaign is doing the work to reach and mobilize our community.” 

Democratic strategist and pollster Fernand Amandi said he knows Biden will prevail. 

“When the smoke clears on Election Day, President Biden is going to win the Hispanic vote, and he’s going to win it by a lot,” said the Miami-based Democratic strategist and pollster. 

Still, Amandi added, “the question is whether Trump will be able to steal a point or two in the margins where it might make a difference.” 

Some Democrats say more needs to be done to speak to voters who are leaning toward supporting Trump, Kennedy, or considering not voting at all. 

“These are voters who should be firmly in the Democratic Party,” one strategist said. “The fact that we’re losing them should speak volumes.”

“We should in no way be losing support with these folks while Trump is out there making outlandish statements about immigrants and Black and brown voters almost every day,” the strategist added. 

In December, Trump said undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood” of the United States. During an event in Ohio last month, he also called some migrants “animals” and said they’re “not people.” 

Trump allies say the former president is winning over Hispanic voters because of the economy, and his campaign says it will continue to highlight the issues they say voters care about. 

“No Bueno Biden’s policies have made everything more expensive, given us a border bloodbath, and wrecked the American dream,” said Danielle Alvarez, a Trump campaign spokesperson. “That’s why so many Hispanics will vote for President Trump to get our economy booming, and the chaos at the border, and Make America Great Again.” 

In an interview with the former Brexit Party leader and television commentator Nigel Farage last month, Trump offered his own analysis: “Hispanics, very entrepreneurial people.”

“They like me, I like them,” Trump said. 

But Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist who served as a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders during his bids for the presidency, said Trump is doing very little to appeal to Hispanics. 

“They have no f—ing strategy. They’re just getting the benefit of some anxiety that’s in the electorate, especially with young Latino men,” Rocha said.

Younger Latinos, he added, “are open to other options” because of increases in cost of living.

“But I think that some people are getting hoodwinked from a carnival barker who could give a shit about this community,” Rocha said. 

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “In a surprising twist, Biden finds himself up against a serious challenge from Trump for the Hispanic vote”
  1. As a Latina voter, I find it concerning that Biden is losing support among my community. Trump seems to be gaining ground, which is surprising. The economy and inflation are key issues that are affecting our support for Biden.

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