New polls show Joe Biden struggling to appeal to Latino voters in Florida, a boost to Donald Trump in the critical swing state

Associated PressFILE – In this June 25, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, centre, speaks to Stacie Ritter, right, and her son, Jan, during a meeting with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act in Lancaster, Pa. Biden is hoping to capture Florida and other pivotal states by pushing Latino turnout rates higher than when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
  • Joe Biden and Donald Trump are both fighting to energize the Latino vote and win Florida’s 29 electoral votes, one of the largest swing-state prizes in the Electoral College.
  • A recent poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald showed Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 55% to 38% in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
  • A new NBC News/Marist poll showed Joe Biden and Donald Trump tied with 48% among likely voters in Florida, with the same poll showing Trump ahead 50% to 46% among likely Latino voters statewide.
  • Business Insider previously reported that Biden was underperforming with Latino voters even before the start of the 2020 Democratic primaries.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden is currently underperforming among Latino voters in Florida, according to two recently released polls, a warning sign for the former vice president as he seeks to win the crucial swing state and its 29 electoral votes.

A poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald among 500 likely Miami-Dade County voters was released Tuesday morning, showing Biden ahead of Trump 55% to 38%, outside of the poll’s 4.4 margin of error. Among Hispanic voters, Trump narrowly leads Biden, 47% to 46%, with Trump swamping Biden among Cuban-American voters 68% to 30% and Biden winning over non-Cuban Hispanic voters 58% to 32%.

These numbers present a challenge for Biden, who hopes to attract significant Latino support and exceed the electoral performance of the last two Democratic presidential nominees, former president Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2012, Obama won Miami-Dade by 24 percentage points (62% to 38%) and won Florida’s Hispanic vote with 60% of the vote, while narrowly losing (48% to 52%) the statewide Cuban-American vote to Republican Mitt Romney.

Four years later, Clinton defeated Trump by 30 points (64% to 34%) in Miami-Dade. She won the statewide Hispanic vote 62% to 35%, but fell behind Obama’s performance with Cuban voters in Florida, trailing Trump 41% to 54%, according to Edison Research for the National Election Pool.

A NBC News/Marist Florida poll conducted August 31 through September 6 and released on Tuesday showed Biden and Trump tied at 48% among likely voters, with Trump edging out Biden 48% to 47% with registered voters. However, Trump leads Biden 50% to 46% among likely Latino voters, according to the survey, which would be a significant turnaround for the incumbent Republican president.

Biden’s soft support among Latino voters has been an issue for months, and his campaign recently devoted more resources to Hispanic outreach, reserving Spanish-language ad buys and hiring Latino staffers, according to Time magazine.

The Biden campaign also launched a national voter outreach campaign that will work in conjunction with Latino business leaders to promote Biden’s message of entrepreneurship, according to the Miami Herald. Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that Trump has focused much of his Latino outreach on energising Hispanic evangelical voters, particularly in South Florida.

Florida is well-known for its close races, with Obama carrying the state by 2.8% and 0.88% margins in 2008 and 2012, respectively, while Trump won by 1.2% in 2016, so any movement with the Latino vote will be pivotal for the eventual winner.

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