Joe Biden was elected President of the United States and defeated Donald Trump after a skillful and ultimately successful appearance with the Latin American electorate, despite the Democrats’ continuing fears of not being adequately reached throughout the campaign.
Biden was consistent with Hillary Clinton’s figures from four years ago, with 66 percent of Latinos supporting Trump’s 32 percent, but was strong in parts of the Southwest, where Hispanic voters helped win Biden’s crucial Arizona victory.
In total, the Biden campaign told Washington Newsday that it had spent $125 million on its Latino voter program, the first time it has announced tightly held budget numbers on the form its deployment would take. The figure includes Spanish-language television, radio and digital, as well as operations, staffing and bilingual direct mail, which was led by campaign consultant Adrian Saenz. It also includes English-language television and digital television tailored to Hispanics, which, as the campaign emphasized, was an important part of their efforts.
Latinos who have lost a disproportionate number of jobs and faced financial hardship and higher rates of infection and death have also made their presence felt in states where Biden won by narrow margins, where Latinos make up a smaller percentage of the electorate, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Biden campaign reported to Washington Newsday that they launched an aggressive, micro-level Latino program based on the fact that the community is diverse and in states like the Midwest, where the population is small but significant, always has the potential to influence the vote in their favor.
“We knew that the Latino vote not only justified a historic investment, but that this investment had to focus on building a culturally competent program in both English and Spanish that would reach voters where they stand on the issues that matter most to them and their families,” Assistant Campaign Manager Julie Rodriguez, who supported the team of senior Latino staffers, told Washington Newsday.
Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, a group that worked to mobilize Latin American and black voters in Florida, where Biden lost, recalled that just days before Election Day in Palm Beach, Florida, she had spoken with a Latin American voter who summed up the feelings of so many of the group’s voters who had been involved in the past few weeks.
“No nos quiere” – “He doesn’t care about us,” the guest worker said about Trump. “We will have a new president in January,” the voter continued, adding “si dios quiere” or “God willing.
Democrats and activists said Trump had made his bed: he chose to divide rather than unite the country and considered Latinos and immigrants a source of problems rather than a means of strengthening the nation.
They also gave numbers to explain why Latinos rejected the incumbent president. More than 40,000 Latinos died from the pandemic, as well as a recent report that 545 migrant children are still without parents due to the Trump administration’s policy of family separation.
Thanks to a record collection of more than $1.2 billion this year, including a staggering $750 million in the last two months, the Biden campaign has been able to increase its investment in the pockets of various Latino communities across the country, especially after the National Convention of the Democrats.
The Latino program also included massive polls of Latino voters at the national level and in contested states with thousands of voters, as Washington Newsday first reported, allowing the campaign to tailor and target its reach to different parts of the larger voting bloc.
The survey data was then forwarded to state Latino directors to fine-tune the reach and mobilization of messages to young Latinos, men, immigrants, and different ethnic groups. Senior Advisor Jorge Neri coordinated a weekly meeting with Latino state directors to assess their reach and needs so they could do their job better.
Biden’s victory in Arizona-the first Democratic victory since Bill Clinton in 1996-not only redesigned the electoral map, but was also the e