Recent national polls show former Vice President and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden is doing worse than Hillary Clinton in 2016 among Hispanic, Latino voters.
Part of the lackluster performance is being blamed on COVID-19 and Hispanics, Latinos’ immediate health concerns, and its effect on their livelihood.
According to a new survey by Voter Participation Center and Voto Latino found that only 46-percent of Hispanic, Latino respondents nationwide say they are extremely motivated and enthusiastic about voting in November. That’s bad news for Biden; low voter turnout among Hispanics, Latinos would deal a blow in key battleground states like Florida.
A few days ago, the Florida Democratic Party signed a scathing letter claiming Biden’s campaign in that state is ‘suppressing the Hispanic vote by mistreating field organizers, relocating trained staff members without explanation, lack of organizing resources and taking on volunteers who are then left in limbo.
The hill the former vice president needs to climb with the coveted Hispanic, Latino vote is quickly turning in to a mountain. President Trump is believed to get between 25%-30% of the Latino vote, reports USA Today. A recent poll by Telemundo found that 1 in 4 American Latinos would vote to re-elect him.
With 32 million Latinos eligible to vote this year; Biden is going to need this community in order to be elected next president of the United States.
Enter, Tatiana Matta, a media executive, former candidate for Congress, and now National Latino Advisor for the Biden campaign.
Matta told El Nuevo Día that as part of her role, she hopes to collaborate with the presidential candidate and his team to enhance his plan for Puerto Rico as well as work towards strengthening the relationship with Puerto Rico’s diaspora.
According to the Boston Planning and Development Agency, there are more than 319,000 Puerto Ricans living in Massachusetts, the fifth-largest Puerto Rican population in the United States after New York, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The state’s Puerto Rican population has grown by 60% since 2000, and 20% since 2010.
Matta, a Puerto Rican native from the town of Caguas living in Massachusetts, says “It’s of the utmost importance that Puerto Rico has a voice (in Biden’s campaign).” In an interview with BELatina Matta has previously expressed her support toward statehood but has confirmed that she is now working toward prioritizing Biden’s views.
The former Vice President has said that he believes in self-determination for the island, a position that many Puerto Ricans see as an attempt to avoid weighing in on a divisive topic. “I will engage Puerto Ricans — including representatives of every status option — in a process of self-determination, listening and developing federal legislation that outlines a fair path forward,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel on December 2019.
Biden won the Puerto Rico primary earlier this month, winning with 74-percent of the vote, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) garnered 13-percent.
The support of Puerto Ricans on the island won’t help him in November though. As a United States territory, Puerto Rico’s 3-million U.S. citizens can vote in every presidential primary, but not in the general presidential election, as the island does not have electoral votes.
Still, according to Census estimates, there are nearly 6-million Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. mainland, and they can vote in local, state and federal elections.