Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign has received some scathing reviews from Latino political experts.
Biden's primary campaign had a distant, if not "tense," relationship with Latino voters as he not only neglected to reach out to them but never quite rectified "his connection to the Obama administration's aggressive deportation policy," Politico reports. Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee "in spite of, not because of" his Latino outreach, Politico writes, but more than 20 Latino political operatives say his luck may not hold in the general election.
Around 32 million Latinos are expected to be eligible to vote in the U.S. this fall, making them the largest nonwhite voting bloc in the country. Their votes are especially valuable to Biden in potentially flippable states such as Arizona and Texas. But the Biden team doesn't seem to be acknowledging this fact. "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.
To be fair, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all but impossible for the Biden campaign to reach Latino voters through in-person canvassing, and the campaign's dwindling cash supply hasn't helped it execute digital efforts. Yet Biden hasn't even talked to, much less gotten an endorsement from, Julián Castro, the only prominent Hispanic candidate in the 2020 race, nor has his campaign appeared to ask for help from Latino lawmakers and strategists.
"Right now I can't tell what their strategy is with the Latino community. I just don't see it," an anonymous Latino lawmaker told Politico. "They have a lot of people out there willing to help, but they're not engaging" those potential recruits. Read more about Biden's fraught Latino outreach at Politico.
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