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Biden tries to stem the alarming flow of minority voters away from Democrats ahead of midterm elections

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The novel coronavirus delta variant is surging across the country, and his infrastructure proposals could catch on different political snags — but President Joe Biden is making overtures to minority voters this week.

Biden's slight pivot aims to help Democrats before next year's midterm elections, as the party in power typically braces for heavy losses during that cycle, according to historic trends.

HOW BIDEN'S BIPARTISANSHIP COULD HURT DEMOCRATS IN 2022

Biden and White House aides have meetings this week with top Latinos and members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Those are two demographic groups Biden and other Democrats cannot take for granted in 2022, according to Aggressive Progressive podcast host and former Democratic consultant Christopher Hahn.

"I believe they did in 2020, and it almost cost him the election," Hahn told the Washington Examiner of Biden.

More than three-fifths of Latinos, for instance, voted for Biden last fall. Yet, former President Donald Trump made progress with the bloc in Florida's Miami-Dade County and Texas's Rio Grande Valley, contributing to an 8 percentage point swing toward Republicans compared to four years ago, Democratic data firm Catalist found.

Biden's tepid response to last month's pro-democracy protests in Cuba was perceived by many strategists as a missed opportunity to forge inroads with the Republican-leaning Florida diaspora.

"There was a significant effort by the Trump campaign to reach out to those voters, and they basically sold them a bill of goods that Biden was some sort of communist dictator akin to the ones their families have fled the past," Hahn said. "Democrats, in general, need to combat that misinformation that the Republicans have been putting out there."

Instead, it took Biden and the White House a few days to condemn communism. Eventually, he described it as a "universally failed system," a phrase he and his staff have repeated.

"I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute, but that’s another story," Biden said at the time, a reference to liberal Democrats lobbying him to adopt far-left policies.

Hahn suggested Florida's 1 million-plus new Puerto Rican residents are a target for Biden and Democrats in 2022 and 2024.

"I, quite frankly, thought that they would have had a good chance of flipping Florida had they made proper outreach to those new Puerto Rican voters who emigrated there since Hurricane Maria and since the financial crisis in Puerto Rico over the last 10 years," he said. "They're already citizens. They're ready to vote."

Rather, Trump clinched Florida by 3 percentage points, expanding his 1 percentage point margin of victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Republicans also seized the 26th and 27th congressional districts, with Carlos Gimenez and Maria Elvira Salazar ousting Democratic incumbents.

AAPI people are also an important Biden constituency after mobilizing as Trump's emphasis on COVID-19's Chinese origins, and China's lack of transparency regarding the virus was framed as anti-Asian. Biden addressed those issues during an April visit to Atlanta after Asian American women comprised the majority of victims killed in a nearby spa shooting spree. He has been pushed, too, by high-profile representatives, including Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

"Biden and the Democrats need to do everything they can to secure that vote, and listen to their concerns, and act on them," Hahn said. "Good governing is good politics."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has reiterated Biden is not prioritizing politics, particularly when needled on his battleground state trips. Yet, his schedule is hard to ignore as he prepares to refocus his efforts after passing his $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending package and striking a $1.2 trillion bipartisan bricks-and-mortar infrastructure deal. However, those achievements could be nullified as COVID-19 cases climb and Biden faces pressure from competing ends of the Democratic Party over the size and scope of his infrastructure plans, especially the social welfare and environmental provisions in the Democrat-only reconciliation bill.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Biden will speak with Latino advocates on Tuesday "to discuss his economic agenda, immigration reform, and the need to protect the sacred, Constitutional right to vote," according to the White House.

Those bullet points are basically regurgitated for his Thursday conversation with their Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander counterparts, with the addition of "his administration’s response to the rise in acts of anti-Asian bias and violence."

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, 2022 Elections, Campaigns

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden tries to stem the alarming flow of minority voters away from Democrats ahead of midterm elections

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