Biden Travels West To Secure His Status In Nevada And Arizona


Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden is on a three-day campaign swing aimed at bolstering his reputation in the Sun Belt as part of an aggressive effort to re-energize key components of his 2020 election coalition.

Much of Biden’s time on this week’s tour, which includes stops in Nevada, Arizona, and Texas, will be spent courting Latino voters who helped build his 2020 coalition, as well as promoting his pro-union, pro-abortion rights message.

Biden’s first destination on Tuesday is Reno, Nevada, where he will meet with local authorities and campaign workers in Washoe County before traveling to Las Vegas to advocate his administration’s housing policy.

Next, he’ll fly to Phoenix for another campaign trip in a key swing state, followed by an event highlighting what he’s done to help the computer chip manufacturing industry.

Biden’s outreach to Latino voters this week is part of the campaign’s larger attempts to lay the groundwork to re-engage diverse demographics vital to the president’s reelection. That endeavor is especially important given that key segments of Biden’s constituency, such as Black and Hispanic individuals, have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the president’s performance in office.

In a February AP-NORC poll, 38% of U.S. people approved of Biden’s job performance. Nearly six in ten Black adults (58%) agreed, compared to 36% of Hispanic adults. Black folks are more likely than white and Hispanic individuals to approve of Biden, but that approval has decreased in the three years since he assumed office.

Biden’s reelection campaign, along with affiliated Democratic groups, has launched offices in Washoe County and specific areas of Las Vegas, which officials say will assist the campaign target Black, Latino, and Asian American voters.

Bilingual campaign organizers are already in place in Arizona, and the campaign has established an office in Maryvale, a large Latino neighborhood in Phoenix. The campaign has hired almost 40 people in Nevada and Arizona.

Campaign officials feel that now that Biden and Trump have secured their respective nominations, tuned-out voters are beginning to consider the possibility of a rematch. They’re attempting to accelerate coalition-building efforts in battleground states now that the matchup has been set, leveraging the enthusiasm from Biden’s State of the Union earlier this month to reenergize their campaign momentum.

This includes, for example, ensuring that chapters are established on college campuses so that students can organize, as well as keeping campaign offices open and equipped with yard signs, campaign literature, and other supplies. Democrats hope that Trump and the Republicans would struggle to catch up in critical states.

The campaign has already launched “Women for Biden-Harris,” an effort coordinated by first lady Jill Biden to engage female voters who were critical to Biden’s 2020 winning coalition, as well as “Students for Biden-Harris,” which will focus on organizing and activating young voters.

This is not something you can just stand up to. In an interview, Quentin Fulks, the Biden campaign’s principal deputy campaign manager, stated, “This is work.” “It does require training. It is necessary to ensure that your volunteers and supporters have access to the resources they require on the ground.”

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee fired scores of employees when new executives strongly associated with Trump took office last week. People let go include those who worked at the party’s community centers, where they helped create relationships with minority groups in Democratic-leaning areas. The committee’s new leadership has urged that the centers remain open.

The RNC, which is already tight for funds, is also attempting to dispel rumors that it will pay for Trump’s mounting legal fees.

Regardless of their financial and organizational advantages, the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party as a whole are facing their own challenges. In addition to Biden’s lower job performance numbers, Democrats are seeing less support from key voting blocs come election time; while Biden won 63% of Hispanic voters in 2020, that percentage fell to 57% for Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterms, according to AP VoteCast, a national electorate survey.

Despite the declining approval ratings, campaign aides believe that if disillusioned members of Biden’s coalition see the disparity between the president’s agenda and Trump’s ambitions for a second term, they will eventually support the president.

“I can say this as a Latina: we always arrive late to the party. “We enjoy making a grand entrance,” said Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. “I think that’s what you will see again because when it comes down to people making a real decision that is consequential to their future, the future of their children, the future of their communities, it’s not some random phone call from an anonymous pollster — I think that the Democratic coalition will come home.”

Along with the campaign trips, the administration is scheduling formal White House events on issues that are particularly important in the two states. In Arizona, Biden will continue to promote a bill he signed boosting local computer chip manufacture, which has already resulted in significant private investment in the state, particularly in Phoenix.

In Nevada, Biden will continue to promote a new housing policy that includes a mortgage relief credit for first-time homebuyers and a seller’s tax credit to encourage homeowners to sell their starter homes. The housing issue will undoubtedly resonate in Nevada, where home prices have roughly doubled since early 2016, according to Zillow, an online real estate marketplace.

As the president has said, the bottom line is, we have to build, build, build,” said Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., emphasized that Democrats should not take the state for granted, despite some polling showing Trump ahead in Nevada.

You got to be there talking to voters, particularly in Nevada,” Cortez Masto added. “It’s still tiny enough; there are 3 million people, and they want you to show up, right? It is a swing state. It’s extremely diversified. People simply demand that level of engagement so that they can make their own decisions.

Biden’s three-day tour will conclude in Texas, where he will do a trio of fundraisers in Dallas and Houston.

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