New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the national Democratic Party has “vulnerabilities among Latinos” in response to a news report that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had underperformed among Latin American voters in Florida.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comment on Twitter included a video and a quote from Yahoo news reporter Hunter Walker, who said: “One of the big stories in Florida was Joe Biden’s underperformance among Latin American voters. Progressive allies of Biden’s raised the alarm over the summer… He really fought on that front.
In the Yahoo News video, Walker noted that the Biden campaign had made some Latino contributions during the campaign, but that the Latino vote could determine whether the main battleground state goes for Biden or for Republican President Donald Trump.
In response, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “I won’t say much about tonight’s results as they are evolving and continuing, but I will say that we have been sounding the alarm for a long, long time about the vulnerability of the Dem to the Latinos. There is a strategy and a way forward, but the necessary efforts have simply not been made”.
Trumpf has now won Florida.
She then followed up on a May 2020 Yahoo News article in which Latin American policy experts lamented Biden for neglecting demographic trends and never mentioning his connection to the aggressive deportation policies during the term of former Democratic President Barack Obama, in which Biden served as vice president.
Under the Obama administration, the US deported over 3 million people without papers through the Department of Homeland Security. In the second presidential debate, Biden distanced himself from the deportations with the words: “We made a mistake. It took too long to make it right.”
Biden said that if he won the presidency, he would reintroduce the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that allowed children of undocumented migrants to be deported for two years with the possibility of obtaining a U.S. work permit.
The Trump administration tried to block the DACA program, but in June the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the White House’s attempts to overturn the program.
Morning Consult’s latest national survey, conducted October 28-31, showed that Biden was less popular with Hispanic and black voters than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Among Hispanic voters, the poll showed that 63 percent of Hispanic voters currently support Biden, compared to 66 percent of Hispanic voters who supported Clinton in 2016.
An October Pew Research Center report showed that registered Latin American voters expressed greater confidence in Biden’s ability to deal with key issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, foreign policy and the country’s division.
Washington Newsday asked the Biden campaign for a comment.