In new ad, Biden reintroduces himself to Latino voters
In critical swing states like Florida and Arizona, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate is pursuing the Latino vote.
Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly took the Hispanic vote in the 2016 election, taking 66% of the Latino vote on election day.
In contrast Joe Biden’s popularity within the Hispanic and Latino community is not as resounding.
Yes, he has a lead over Trump, but that margin is alarmingly narrow considering Clinton had higher pre-election polling rates among the demographic and Trump still won the overall election.
Bernie Sanders had a huge following among Latino voters before the presidential primaries because of his stances on topics Latinos hold with high importance such as healthcare and education.
These are points Biden must address if he wants a real movement from Latino voters.
He has room to maneuver on these issues, and reintroduce himself by connecting authentically to Latino voters’ points of interest as both parties acknowledge that the Latino electorate is no small thing.
And with his recent advert, it seems Biden knows this.
In the ad titled, “Los cuentos no pagan las cuentas” or, “Telling stories won’t pay the bills,” Biden uses micro-targeting to speak to sub-categories within the Hispanic and Latino communities.
In each Latino-speaking region where the ad was released, the narrator had a different accent.
For instance, in Orlando the accent was Puerto Rican, in Miami the narrator had a Cuban accent, and in Phoenix it was Mexican.
While Biden’s campaign may think doing this deepens their understanding of their voters’ backgrounds, it has caused some backlash.
“What they’re doing is micro-targeting instead of realizing we’re just like the rest of the population,” Berticia Cabrera Morris, a Latinos For Trump advisory board member told the Associated Press.
But others say this ad-style serves to highlight the discrepancies within the Hispanic and Latino communities, as there is an abundance of sub-categories within each group that are often skimmed-over by candidates.
There is a method to the madness.
“Culturally competent and nuanced engagement will be critical to galvanizing the 32 million eligible Latino voters and helping Democrats win across the country,” Tweeted Latino Victory in regards to the ad.
Culturally competent and nuanced engagement will be critical to galvanizing the 32 million eligible Latino voters and helping Democrats win across the country — which is exactly what VP @JoeBiden's campaign & @TheDemocrats are doing. https://t.co/nAyEtyATAO
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) July 6, 2020
By targeting Hispanic and Latino votes in states that could flip, he is at least letting those voters know he acknowledges them. Targeted messaging can be used to better connect with a demographic that could bolster the win.
In 2016, Latino turnout in 2016 fell to 47.6% of eligible voters, down nearly 3% from 2008, according to a survey by the U.S. census. Despite polling lower than Clinton among Latinos, targeted ads like “los cuentos no pagan las cuentas” are an attempt to increase those numbers.
Biden’s campaign has also recently announced the formation of the Latino Leadership Committee, in an effort to "engage Latinos and communicate how Joe Biden will fight for Latino families.”
If anything these efforts are a clear indication of Biden’s knowledge of the critical Latino vote, and his need to capture it in swing states like Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Improving the Latino turnout in these states has the capacity to flip them.