Pres. Biden is squandering the crucial Hispanic vote

POLITICS: Pres. Biden is squandering the crucial Hispanic vote

With eight months still to go until the presidential election, many on the Left are in denial of one of the more historic and significant shifts happening within a key voting bloc — Latino voters. 

The chief fallacy of the Democrats right now is that they believe President Joe Biden’s problems are all about perception.

In truth, however, the reality is far starker: The shortcomings of this administration’s policy outcomes are deeply rooted in reality.

It costs over $12,000 per year more than it did at the time of Biden’s inauguration to support the average American family, and that especially hits hard for the Latino community, writes Jose Mallea. Getty Images/iStockphoto

If Biden loses in November, it will largely be because of Democrats’ shockingly diminished support among minority voters.

The latest polling for once-bedrock Democratic constituencies is eye-opening: The lead Democrats used to enjoy among Black Americans, for instance, has shrunk by a massive 20 points over the last three years.

But the news is even more sobering for Latinos: One recent poll now shows Biden actually losing the Hispanic vote outright, 40% to 46%.

Far from being mere unfair perceptions about Biden and his policies, a look at the data reveals this fleeing support to be solidly validated by what economists refer to as rational self-interest.

Despite the protestations from the administration, the massive inflation caused by Bidenomics is simply an indisputable fact. Since Biden took office, overall inflation is up 18%.

It costs $12,100 more per year for average American families to maintain the quality of life they enjoyed in January 2021, and core inflation remains hot at 3.8%.

Since Biden took office, overall inflation has risen some 18%. Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Contrary to the miscalculated reasoning from some pundits that inflation is no big deal – or could actually be good! – a different reality emerges in the everyday lives of voters.

And that reality falls especially hard on our community.

Latinos exhibit the most economic stress and anxiety of any American demographic. Getty Images

Latinos, for instance, spend over half of their income on basic necessities – food, energy and housing. And this causes Hispanics to be disproportionately hurt by inflation, more than any other racial or ethnic group according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  

These essential categories have experienced inflation rates that are even greater than the average, leaving households with few realistic options to find savings elsewhere.

Meanwhile, incomes have not even come close to keeping pace with these spiking costs. Since the start of the Biden presidency, median weekly incomes for Hispanics have barely moved, from $750 to $751.64.  With inflation eating away at earnings, Hispanics are feeling the pressure of high prices paired with essentially zero if not negative wage growth. 

Unspirisongly, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that Hispanics report inflation stress at a rate higher than any other ethnic or racial group at 57.2 percent. Hispanics bearing the brunt of inflation may also be due to the high percent that are renters: 52% of Hispanic households are rental properties and shelter inflation has been driving overall inflation.   

Crucially, it is not only inflation brought on by the over $2 trillion government spending spree under Biden that is stoking unrest among minorities.

Latinos have felt particularly targeted by other policy blunders, as well.

Just this week, in a sop to union interests, the Biden Department of Labor began to enforce a rule that could reclassify many independent contractors as employees – a move that is certain to cause businesses to cut many of those jobs altogether.

Some 26% of all independent workers nationwide are Hispanic – and data shows that fewer than one in 10 would actually prefer to be traditional employees. 

At the recent State of the Union address, the President announced even more public spending plans, which will only further boost inflation. REUTERS

Meanwhile, lines in President Biden’s State of the Union speech last week exhorting Congress to lard on even further union-backed policies drew wild applause from fellow Democrats.

As if the inflation situation weren’t bad enough, Biden also decided to announce his $7.3 trillion dollar budget plan doubling down on the reckless federal spending contributing to the historically high inflation most impacting lower income Latinos.

To many Latinos, the president is out of touch when he stands at a podium and recites that “we’re bringing down prices across the board,” “wages are up,” and “my economic plan is working.”

This fuzzy rhetoric helps explain why many Latinos are disillusioned with the president and looking elsewhere for a change in direction.

What is true is that Biden needs Latino voters to win in November — and he’s losing them fast.

Workers in Michigan protesting for additional union support, which Biden has made clear he is eager to provide. Getty Images for SEIU

Although just 35% of Hispanics voted for Trump in 2020, that was eight percentage points more than in 2016.

Which is why this fall, Biden needs to recognize that the 36.2 million eligible Latino voters are tired of his excuses, failed promises, and out-of-touch rhetoric on the economy.

Some of the Latino voters President Biden will need to win re-election live in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Arizona, where recent polling shows him running behind Trump.  

To win Latinos back, Biden needs to start understanding the true needs and concerns of Latinos in particular – as well as admit to the mistakes now compromising their support.

It may already be too late.

Jose Mallea is the chief operating officer of The LIBRE Initiative.

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