Nearly two-thirds of this demographic disapprove of the President
Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic voters disapprove of Joe Biden’s job performance, a new poll has found. According to Pew data published this week, 60% of Hispanics disapprove of the President, with 31% of voters strongly and 29% somewhat disapproving.
These figures mark a sharp year-on-year decline for the President. Over the last two years, Hispanic disapproval of Biden has risen by 10 percentage points each year, up from 40% in September 2021. Meanwhile, his approval among this key voter demographic now sits at just 35%, second only to white voters.
While this drop reflects a broader decline in approval across all racial demographics, it has been most pronounced among Hispanics. In last year’s midterms, Democratic candidates won 57% of Hispanic voters, a lower percentage than the 66% that backed the party in the 2018 midterms. Similarly, in 2020 Donald Trump did 8 percentage points better with Hispanic voters than he did in 2016, winning nearly 40% of the group’s voters nationally.
Conscious of his poor showing with Hispanic voters, Joe Biden hired Julie Chávez Rodriguez, granddaughter of civil rights figure Cesar Chávez, to manage his reelection campaign this year. Rodriguez worked for both Barack Obama and Kamala Harris before being hired by Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign as a deputy campaign manager and senior adviser for Latino outreach.
As part of Rodriguez’s and the President’s 2024 strategy, produced in English and Spanish, the Democrats are looking to expand their outreach with Hispanic “early and often”, highlighting Florida as a potential target. Biden won a majority of Hispanic voters in Florida in 2020, but his support was down 10% from Hillary Clinton‘s in 2016. In addition, more than half of the state’s Hispanic voters turned out in favour of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and senator Marco Rubio in the 2022 elections.
This shift in support poses serious challenges to the Democrats in not just Florida but across the country too. Hispanics made up 62% of total growth in the nation’s eligible voters between 2018 and last year’s election, making it a highly prized demographic for both Republicans and Democrats. That means that there are four million more eligible Hispanic voters ahead of 2024 than there were in 2020, with new voters emerging in key swing states such as Florida.
Hispanics were once a reliable voting bloc for the Democrats. In 2002, researchers Ruy Teixeira and John Judis argued in their book The Emerging Democratic Majority that the party would stand to benefit from America’s increasingly diverse, and by extension Hispanic, population. Teixeira has since abandoned this prediction, claiming instead that the Democrats’ loss of support among Hispanic voters is an existential threat to the party. Citing the nature and size of recent Hispanic shifts against the Democrats, Teixeira concluded: “It’s not as bad as you think, it’s worse.”