US President Joe Biden in January visited a church in Charleston where a racist massacre took place in 2015
U.S. President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden continued appealing to the Latino demographic this week, widening a campaign push destined to shore up support that, polls show, has been eroding lately.

"I need you back," Biden told a group of supporters in a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, AP reported on Wednesday He added that Latinos are the reason why he beat Donald Trump in 2020, and that he needs to emulate that support in November this year to win reelection.

The president focused on Trump's derogatory rhetoric toward Latinos, recalling several events over the past years and specifically mentioning his claims that migrants are "poisoning the blood of our country." "I never heard a president say the things that he has said," Biden during a passage of the event.

Most of Biden's pitch aimed at presenting November's elections as a choice between him and Trump, rather than a referendum on his presidency. He highlighted that Latino unemployment is at low levels because of administration policies and said his rival "wants to get rid of all the programs we put together."

Earlier on that day, Biden gave an an interview to a Univision radio show, in which he also highlighted the importance of the demographic and criticized his presumptive contender's approach.

Speaking to "El Bueno, la Mala y el Feo" (The good, the bad and the ugly), Biden said that "the Latino community is critical to the value set we have." "I plan on working like the devil to earn your support," he added.

Recent polls show that Biden has his work cut out for him. The latest one focused on Latinos, released this month by The New York Times and Siena College, shows the former president with a six percentage point lead over the current one, 46 to 40%.

Trump has been steadily gaining support with the Latino electorate during the past decade, increasing from 28% in 2016 to 36% in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2022, Republicans got 39 percent of the Latino vote, the highest percentage since 2004.

Donald Trump back in court
Former president Donald Trump AFP

Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight, said that according to aggregated data from Split Ticket Biden is still ahead with Latinos. However, he's winning with the demographic by seven percentage points, compared to 24 in 2020.

The Biden campaign's efforts include more field work. The Associated Press reported that, along allied Democratic groups, it has opened offices in Washoe County and certain areas of Las Vegas to better target Latinos, Blacks and Asian American voters.

Moreover, there are already bilingual campaign organizers and and office in Maryvale, a large Latino community in Phoenix. "The campaign has hired more than 40 staffers in Nevada and Arizona," the outlet added.

Whether the effort will succeed is still an open question. Campaign officials believe that voters will start paying more attention to the campaigns as the election date gets closer, with Biden using momentum gained after his fiery State of the Union speech as a platform to grow.

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