OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden is continuing to lose a key voting bloc which will make his path to reelection next year even more difficult. Hispanics, in particular, are abandoning Biden in droves, and there appear to be multiple reasons for it.
“Biden’s reelection campaign website went up last week, complete with Dark Brandon merch, a new campaign video — and a Spanish-language version of their launch page. So far, Biden is the only presidential candidate to have such a translation,” POLITICO reported on Monday.
“But the page itself had multiple mistakes. The Spanish-language version underwent several edits since Tuesday — a corrected accent mark here, an added-then-removed-then-added-again ‘Unidos’ there — before settling on a final version two days later,” the report continued.
Spanish translations often trip up campaigns, but the recent release of Biden’s site put a spotlight on the difficulties that even seasoned campaigns have in connecting with a bilingual electorate. Many point to the fact that Biden announced Julie Chávez Rodríguez, a Latina, would serve as his 2024 campaign manager, as a sign that he’s serious about reaching these voters. But the website snafu is part of a larger question: mainly, how will his reelection effort adjust after experiencing some difficulty recruiting his 65 percent share of the Latino vote in 2020?
Jess Morales Rocketto, chief of Moonshot Strategies at Equis Research and a former digital organizing director for Hillary Clinton, emphasized the significance of bilingual outreach in presidential campaigns. She cited Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign as a successful example of using intentional Spanish language to engage with Latino voters, the report said.
Biden’s problems with Latinos go well beyond a glitchy website, though.
“I have firsthand knowledge of not only how much it resonates with the community, but also how much work it takes,” Morales Rocketto said of the website launch. “It’s good that there are two years here where they can really work out the kinks … I don’t think the problem is making mistakes. The problem is when you don’t have a strategy. The problem is when you don’t respect us in your policy positions, in your personnel positions.”
Meanwhile, Republicans are actively seeking to expose any divisions between Biden and the Latino electorate. They are pursuing aggressive media tactics to connect with the voting bloc and have accused Democrats of not comprehending the crucial matters that motivate them.
“What it tells me is that after four years, his Hispanic operation is still a mess,” Giancarlo Sopo, a Republican communications strategist who worked on translations for former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, told POLITICO. He pointed to word-for-word mistranslations as an example that the Biden campaign is “not that serious about going after the Hispanic vote … or that they’re ill-suited for that task.”
Noted POLITICO: “The stakes for Biden are high. As he launches his reelection, there are doubts about whether he’ll be able to replicate that multiracial excitement, even if he might face off against Trump again. His favorability has dropped across the board since last year, falling nearly 30 points among Latinos in some polling.”
Recent polls have indicated that a slight majority of Hispanic registered voters have a negative view of President Biden, even though his administration is less than a week into the campaign. In the last three relevant Quinnipiac polls with Hispanic voters, his average favorability rating has been around 35 percent, which is similar to his rating among white voters during the same period, which was at 36 percent.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, two pollsters who spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity said that they had never seen as many black and Hispanic voters moving to the Republican Party.
“We consistently see where the African American vote, about 20% or more, are going for Republican candidates,” InsiderAdvantage chairman Matt Towery said of the midterm elections in Georgia and Pennsylvania.
“When it comes to either Hispanic, Latino or what we call other, sometimes it’s 60-something percent for the Republican,” he said. “These are things that we’ve never seen before. I’ve never seen Republican candidates getting 20% of the African American vote this close to an election. I certainly have never seen Hispanic, Latinos, or other races trending Republican like I’m seeing in this particular year.”