With Sanders out, can Biden win the Latino vote?

On April 8, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he is ending his presidential campaign, all but ensuring that former Vice President Joe Biden will face President Donald Trump in November.  

In response to the news, Sergio Garcia-Rios, professor of government and Latina/o studies at Cornell University, reflected on whether Biden can win Latino support. Garcia-Rios is an expert on Latino voter participation, preferences and polling, and is leading a Univision project to measure Latino voter preferences throughout the 2020 election cycle.

“Healthcare continues to be the main concern of Latino voters and Biden hasn’t been clear enough about what he wants to do," said Garcia-Rios. "Latino voters are still not satisfied with Biden’s vague support of Obamacare as the solution and find Sanders’ Medicare for All plan much more appealing.

“To attract Latino voters, Biden will also have to be really clear about what he wants to do about other issues that matter to them. Sanders set out a plan for what he would accomplish in his first 100 days in office, including comprehensive immigration reform and addressing DACA. Sanders got criticism for proposing a moratorium on deportations and an end to raids by ICE, but Latinos really connected with these proposals. All Biden has said is that immigration reform would ‘have to be discussed.’

“Biden will also have to address mistakes he has made in the past regarding immigrants. He acknowledged deportations were a mistake recently for the first time on a Facebook Live event with Jorge Ramos, but he will have to address this in a much more prominent way to satisfy Latino voters.”

Image credit: Todd Church / CC 

For media inquiries, contact Linda Glaser, news & media relations manager, lbg37@cornell.edu, 607-255-8942


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