Decision 2020

Biden Campaign Invests in Hispanic Outreach After Slump in Polls

NBC Universal, Inc.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is pumping in more resources and staff to Hispanic outreach the same week two polls show some cracks in his support.

The Latino outreach organization Equis Research surveyed 1,081 Hispanic registered voters in Florida by telephone from August 20-25th. They found the group of Hispanics supported Biden over Trump 53-37, a double-digit slip from four years ago when Secretary Clinton faced off against Donald Trump for the Presidency. 

CNN exit polls found in 2016 Latino voters chose Clinton over Trump 62 to 35. 

The change is important, because small margins in demographic groups can sway the State of Florida in November. Florida very well may decide the Presidential race in the electoral college. 

Thursday, Quinnipiac University found President Trump up, but within the margin of error, with Hispanic voters. However, Quinnipiac surveyed less than 200 Hispanics, a much smaller sample size, which is easier to skew. 

Polls consistently show Biden with a slight lead on Trump statewide, but numbers are nearly always within the margin of error, creating a statistical tie. 

Polls are a snapshot in time but they can show trends. This slip in Hispanic support is something the Biden campaign says it wants to address. 

“Polls are going to come and go. Right now, our priority is that we’re reaching out to every voter in the community,” said Luisana Perez Fernandez, a spokesperson for the coordinated campaign for former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

The Biden-Harris campaign has increased Spanish-language TV spending and has put the candidates up for interviews this week: including on NBC 6 and Telemundo 51. 

The Democratic ticket also announced a slew of new staff meant to pump up outreach in the Hispanic community. 

According to the Equis numbers, President Trump’s strongest base is with Cuban-American men. Puerto Ricans historically have voted Democratic in large numbers. Hispanics from Central and South America, including Colombians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and others, are growing in political influence.

President Trump and his allies are campaigning on the economy and “socialism.” They’re trying to connect the historically moderate Joe Biden to the dictatorial regimes many in Florida are fleeing from. 

“In this community, foreign policy is felt very deeply because it effects people and has effected people very personally,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart at a business roundtable in Miami Lakes Friday. “The Castro regime, the Ortega regime, the Maduro regime, people obviously take notice. It’s not a theoretical issue.” 

“People here understand socialism, probably better than most people in the country because they’ve experienced it or their relatives have experienced it,” said Diaz-Balart. 

Perez Fernandez with the Biden/DNC campaign said Republicans are taking advantage of the fears of Cubans, Venezuelans, and other communities fleeing violent regimes.

“The way that they’re using it is just to distract from the failures of the Trump Administration, specifically right now when we’re dealing with the pandemic,” said Perez Fernandez. 

Democrats point to the Administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout as the wide reaching issue impacting the everyday lives of Hispanic communities. President Trump’s chances at re-election very much could hinge on the current state of the pandemic. 

Labor Day weekend is usually seen as the kickoff to the home stretch of the election. Either way, the race is Florida is again deadlocked, and each voter in each community and demographic group could have an outsized impact on the election.

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