by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The novel coronavirus delta variant is surging across the country, and his infrastructure proposals could catch on different political snags — but President Joe Biden is making overtures to minority voters this week.
Biden’s slight pivot aims to help Democrats before next year’s midterm elections, as the party in power typically braces for heavy losses during that cycle, according to historic trends.
Biden and White House aides have meetings this week with top Latinos and members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Those are two demographic groups Biden and other Democrats cannot take for granted in 2022, according to Aggressive Progressive podcast host and former Democratic consultant Christopher Hahn.
“I believe they did in 2020, and it almost cost him the election,” Hahn told the Washington Examiner of Biden.
More than three-fifths of Latinos, for instance, voted for Biden last fall. Yet, former President Donald Trump made progress with the bloc in Florida’s Miami-Dade County and Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, contributing to an 8 percentage point swing toward Republicans compared to four years ago, Democratic data firm Catalist found.
Biden’s tepid response to last month’s pro-democracy protests in Cuba was perceived by many strategists as a missed opportunity to forge inroads with the Republican-leaning Florida diaspora.
“There was a significant effort by the Trump campaign to reach out to those voters, and they basically sold them a bill of goods that Biden was some sort of communist dictator akin to the ones their families have fled the past,” Hahn said. “Democrats, in general, need to combat that misinformation that the Republicans have been putting out there.”
Instead, it took Biden and the White House a few days to condemn communism. Eventually, he described it as a “universally failed system,” a phrase he and his staff have repeated.