“Obviously, that was not something that existed under Obama, and it was not something that existed under Trump,” Puente added.
Biden’s strategy for avoiding a repeat of the 2016 catastrophe with Latino voters
Since they were hit hard by dismal results with Latino voters during the 2020 elections—results that Latino organizations predicted well in advance—Latino outreach has been a top priority for Team Biden. It stayed that way on Tuesday, when Biden and nine aides met with leaders of 12 Latino organizations to discuss the Build Back Better agenda, voting rights, and immigration. On Biden Standard Time, the nearly 90-minute meeting began (a bit late).
“The President reaffirmed his commitment to designing, passing, and completing a road to citizenship through reconciliation,” Praeli told West Wing Playbook, referring to the enormous budget bill that Democrats are working to approve on a party-line vote. The White House has aggressively sought out to Latino advocacy groups concerning voting rights and immigration, according to the New York Times. Part of the rationale is to not take the Latino vote for granted, particularly as the midterm elections approach. According to the Pew Research Center, Biden won the Latino vote with a 59-38 percent margin over Trump in 2020, although he trailed Hillary Clinton by 17 points in 2016. That’s a significant loss of support from a rising constituency, and there’s a lot of ground to make up before the next election cycle. Former BERNIE SANDERS senior aide CHUCK ROCHA, who now controls Nuestro PAC, claimed Biden and outside Democratic groups were clearly afraid of the 2020 statistics.
In addition, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending more than $1 million in midterm battleground districts around the country to increase minority voter turnout. Given the amount of the committee’s ad spend, that figure may appear low. But, according to Rocha, it’s all about the timing in this case. “I’ve never seen a group of people invest money and reach out to Latinos as early as the pro-Biden outside groups have. So Building Back Together, Unidos, and other groups, it’s like they all were terrified out of their minds last time with Miami and the Texas valley, and they’re actually doing what all of us who were moaning about, they’re doing it differently, really differently,” Rocha said. “You never saw Bill Clinton, or even Barack Obama, spend millions of dollars six months after the election telling people what they’re doing to improve their lives in Spanish.” MATT BARETO, a former pollster for Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, is now a senior consultant for the White House-approved charity Building Back Together, and is using TV and digital commercials to demonstrate the Latino community the direct impact of Biden’s plan. While advocacy groups say the Biden administration has done certain things successfully in his first six months, such as taking early executive moves to remove or review Trump-era decisions, there have been plenty of causes of contention.
The administration backtracked on plans to phase out the use of Title 42 to deport migrant families this week, claiming that the Delta variant and an increase in border apprehensions necessitated the use of the public health law provision. When we queried the White House about their Latino outreach efforts, they sent us with a lot of information (like eight pages), including a “representative” but not “exhaustive” list of all meetings Biden has had with Hispanic members of Congress, DREAMERs, and other stakeholders. Between March and June, OPE and PPO had weekly check-ins with external organizations to “create a pipeline of Latino applicants for Administration roles,” according to the White House. Since January 30, Biden has held at least 16 meetings, calls, or taped statements. JILL BIDEN, the First Lady, isn’t far behind, with at least 15 events, interviews with Spanish media, and meetings aimed at Latino outreach. She spoke about “inclusion, friendliness, and being an upstander alongside Rosita,” a 5-year-old turquoise Mexican muppet recognizable to anybody with little children, on a “Sesame Street Inclusion Special” on July 12th.
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