President Joe Biden at the White House
President Joe Biden participates in a phone call with European leaders. Flicker/Official White House Photo

One of the most salient data points of the road to the 2024 elections in the U.S. is president Joe Biden's dwindling support among members of the Latino community. Numerous polls and surveys have concluded this to be the case, with some even showing Donald Trump ahead.

In this context, The Latin Times asked experts from two organizations from the Latino Community why they believe this to be the case. They are UnidosUS and Latino Victory and both agreed that a concept that can help explain this is communication.

Rafael Collazo, Executive Director of UnidosUS's Action Fund, said: "We believe Democrats are failing to effectively communicate why Latinos SHOULD vote for Biden in for
another term."

Collazo added that "being anti-Trump is not a strategy," and that "voters need a reason to rally behind their candidates." "By not consistently communicating the wins the Biden administration has had in the past four years, which have largely benefitted the Latino community, they are not giving our community a reason to go out and vote for him," he added.

Data supports this latest statement: a December poll by Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics showed that young Latino voters showed the steepest decline among those who said they would "definitely" vote next year.

Concretely, the figure dropped 16 percentage points, from 56 to 40 percent, compared to the poll conducted in the fall of 2019. That is almost 30 percent less than four years ago, making Latino voters the second group with the least amount of respondents behind Black voters.

Another poll, from the Florida International University, showed that "while most Hispanics remain registered Democrats, support for the party is eroding." Its Annual Hispanic Public Opinion Survey, released in December, showed that, however, Biden's lower support doesn't mean voters are leaving him for Trump. Many are actually opting out of party affiliation altogether, the study says, as neither of the candidates elicits strong enthusiasm.

Collazo listed concrete measures from the Biden administration that, he says, could help with the messaging: "Historic legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act, which made healthcare and critical prescription drugs more affordable and accessible, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which created millions of jobs, are key pieces of legislation that not only helped Latinos prosper but which saved our economy."

Latino Victory Executive Director Katharine Pichardo-Erskine concurred and said: "in one word: communication." "Although there has been an increased effort for Democrats to communicate with Latino voters, there is still an opportunity to invest more and sharpen the messaging so that people can see clearly how major policies have helped them directly. Latino voters are "persuasion voters," and candidates must give Latinos a reason to vote."

The Biden campaign has been spending on targeted efforts to gain support. One example of this was the hiring of Conexión, a communications and content production firm, to push dedicated messaging.

Conexión has already produced some ads for the Biden campaign as is the case of "Nosotros | Biden-Harris 2024." Biden has also compared Trump with authoritarian Venezuelan leaders Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in another ad.

"Latino voters want to know how they grow and prosper in this country, whether it's through jobs, education, small businesses, better housing or affordable healthcare. Latinos already know Trump is racist and threatens their security and that of their families., Now, they need to hear about how his policies are far weaker than President Biden's robust accomplishments and how the Biden economy is helping Latinos access economic opportunities," added Pichardo-Erskine.

Elections are many months away, but the Biden campaign has a steep hill to climb to reverse the trend: the latest poll focused on the demographic, conducted by USA TODAY/Suffolk University in January, shows Joe Biden trailing Donald Trump 39-34% with the group. For perspective, the same study indicated that in 2020 Biden received 65% of the support compared to Trump's 32%.

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