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Biden ramps up Latino outreach with appeal to Puerto Rican voters in Florida

  • September 16, 2020

In response to the concerns raised by the NBC poll last week, Biden campaign aides over the weekend emphasized that their outreach to Hispanic voters has expanded dramatically in recent weeks, and now includes full-time Hispanic-focused mobilization efforts in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.

“The pathway to victory includes winning key battleground states and we’re going to do that by building a culturally competent campaign that targets states with heavy Hispanic populations,” senior political adviser Jorge Neri said on a conference call with reporters Sunday.

Biden aides also stressed how carefully targeted their Spanish language outreach is, up to and including using different Spanish accents in multiple versions of each campaign ad, accents that are tailored to the geographic origins of the Hispanic population in different markets.

Below is one of the Spanish language ads Biden launched over the weekend.

Currently, Biden ads appearing in the Miami and Tampa media markets are voiced with Cuban-accented Spanish. In and around Orlando, voters hear a Puerto Rican accent. And in West Palm, Fort Myers, and across Arizona, the narrator has a Mexican accent.

“That is indispensable because we know that our communities, we share a language, but we have a tremendous diversity of experiences and from those experiences we have similar priorities, but we also have many unique interests,” Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told reporters. 

It’s impossible to tell at this stage whether Biden’s play for Puerto Rican voters will bear fruit. But already this week there are signs that perhaps the NBC/Marist poll was merely an outlier, and that Biden is actually doing better with Latino voters in Florida than it seemed he was last week.

On Tuesday, Monmouth University released a new poll of Florida that showed Biden winning Latino voters 58 to 32 over Trump, a number that’s much closer to Clinton’s 2016 margin.

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