OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Maryland Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2024, setting up a potential battle for the U.S. Senate seat.
“I was taught that it’s okay to compromise — don’t ever compromise your principles — but find a path to get things done. Inspire trust in those around you. Keep your word and, again, listen,” Cardin said in a statement.
“You know, Myrna, it’s been the honor of my life to represent the people of Maryland first in the Maryland General Assembly, then as Speaker of the House, later as a member of the House of Representatives, and now as a United States Senator,” Cardin said. “When this term ends, it will be my last year as an elected official. I will not seek re-election.”
“It’s time,” Cardin said. “I always knew this election cycle would be the one I would be thinking about not running again, so it’s not something that hit me by surprise. I enjoy life. There are other things I can do.”
“The genial Marylander had been contemplating his plans for months as Democrats eyed his seat. The 79-year-old Cardin is a fixture in Maryland politics, serving first in the statehouse, then the House and then in the Senate since 2007. He’s the third Senate Democrat to announce they won’t run for reelection, joining Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Of those three states, only Michigan is considered competitive,” Politico reported.
“Cardin’s announcement will almost certainly jolt the Old Line State’s congressional delegation and political apparatus. Democrats from all corners will consider running for a safe seat that’s also within driving distance of the Capitol — as plum a gig as you’ll find in politics. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Reps. Jamie Raskin and David Trone are among those rumored to be considering runs. Cardin’s opening also could particularly pave the way for a candidate from Baltimore, where the senator is from,” the outlet added.
“I salute my friend and our state’s senior Senator Ben Cardin on his extraordinary public service to Maryland and our country,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said in a statement Monday. “It is a privilege to serve alongside him and in partnership every day for the people of our great state.”
— @amuse (@amuse) May 1, 2023
“Democrats are quickly realizing that the Senate won’t be any fun for them when Republicans retake the majority in 2024,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Tate Mitchell told Fox News.
This has opened up speculation that former Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan could run for his seat in 2024.
On a national scale, 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.”