In a nation built on immigration and with a diverse cultural history, it’s a known fact that anyone running for the title of President of the United States will have to pay special attention to significant minority groups.
However, this seems to have never crossed the minds of anyone in former vice president Joe Bidens’ campaign, at least when it comes to Latinos.
According to recent polling information, it is expected that some 32 million members of the Hispanic or Latino communities will be voting come November. Yet, the Biden campaign doesn’t appear to be making even the slightest effort to reach these potential supporters.
And this lack of effort is being noticed.
Latinos are, undoubtedly, of immense importance to either candidate’s success or failure. But as Jess Morales Rocketto, a former digital organizing director for Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House, told Politico, “I do not think that the Biden campaign thinks that Latinos are part of their path to victory.”
And Rocketto isn’t the only one. According to The Week, over 20 other Democratic operatives have noticed Biden’s lack of activity in Hispanic communities and note the campaign’s foolishness. In southwestern states with high Hispanic populations such as Texas, Arizona, and California, those votes could make all the difference, possibly even flipping them.
But as Politico notes, that’s not the only problem.
“Biden had a tense relationship with many Latino groups during the primary, stemming largely from his connection to the Obama administration’s aggressive deportation policy.” And even though Biden has noted that those policies were somewhat “misguided” and therefore will be changed, it has made little difference in their willingness to support him.
The news outlet suggests that many Latino voters need more than just a one-time instance of him saying that we need to work on issues that matter most to them. Members of the Latino community, just like any group, want to know that they are essential to the man who might one day lead them. Furthermore, they need to know that he has policies in place that will cater to them.
Biden made it clear in the early days of his campaign that he would do so for the black community. He spent months in southern states like South Carolina, which has a large African American population, all to prove to them that they mattered to him.
Latinos are asking for the same kind of consideration.
But right now, there is nothing to indicate that Biden sees the need for such relationships.
According to one anonymous Latino lawmaker who spoke to Politico, “Right now I can’t tell what their strategy is with the Latino community. I just don’t see it. They have a lot of people out there willing to help, but they’re not engaging many people outside of the ones who were part of their campaign originally.”
It seems that Biden was so focused on getting the black vote that he has completely forgotten about any other minority or race, and the states that occupy them. As I mentioned before, states like Arizona and Texas, with higher than average Hispanic populations, have seen little efforts to win them over. And midwestern states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin have seen a similar ignorance from Biden, even though they are key battleground states.
In addition, Biden has refused to release any sort of statistical data on who he has under his employ and their possible diversity. The outlet noted that the campaign has made nearly a dozen new hires in recent weeks, and most of those are white.
All of this makes it hard for the many Latinos who once supported Senator Bernie Sanders to be supportive of, let alone excited, that Biden is the assumed nominee for the party. Bernie fans, in general, have been extremely hesitant to commit to Biden, even though he is their only shot at beating Trump in November.
And his lack of attention to the Hispanic communities of the nation isn’t helping matters at all.
If Biden isn’t careful, he just might find himself in an unwinnable situation, if he isn’t there already.