In battleground Wisconsin, some Latinos feel ignored by Biden

By Dan Simmons and Tim Reid

MILWAUKE (Reuters) – Since June, Cesar Hernandez has been encouraging Latino citizens in the Wisconsin state of battleground to help the Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, claims he has made thousands of phone calls.

It's a tough sale, Hernandez agrees, particularly in the south of Milwaukee, the center of the Latino community in Wisconsin.

He said Biden's Hulu and Facebook Spanish-language commercials don't communicate with local voters, many of whom would like a more intimate connection.

Hernández, 25, who is employed in the Radical Turnout Movement, a organization working to organize democratic citizens, said: "The Latinos have seen virtually little here from Biden."

"It's not really excited regarding him."

When Biden and the current Republican President Donald Trump reach the nation in the election on the 3rd November, demands by Latino voters became more urgent.

Both campaigns expend money in frontline states of Florida and Arizona and in highly competitive Nevada, the largest populace of which in those countries will decide their result.

The 230,000 registered Latino voters could prove crucial also in Wisconsin, where 87 per cent of the people are white.

In 2016, Trump received just 22,000 votes for the territory.

Biden is ahead of Wisconsin in a series of recent surveys.

Biden has led Trump by a margin of 5.5 percentage points in six surveys published in September on the RealClearPolitics polling aggregation platform.

Five times this year, Trump has toured the territory.

He opened an office on the South Side of Milwaukee, which has authentic taco shops with bilingual tax preparers and a Puerto Rican barber shop.

The windows of the field store are decorated with Trump signs and the stands feature commodities like 'Latinos for Trump.'

In statements to Reuters, the Biden campaign reported that its attempts to target the Latinos in Wisconsin and at national level were unmatched.

It has a full-time Latino outreach director and hundreds of hires, mainly in Latino neighborhoods, in Wisconsin.

It operates telephone and text banking in Spanish and features commercials on many channels, including radio and Spanish-language mailing lines.

The Biden initiative has reported that there have been hundreds of virtual roundtables, protests and other activities targeting the Latino population.

Jen Molina, the national Latino media director of Biden, said, "The movement has expressed to tens of thousands of Latino citizens the simple option they created in the elections this year.

However, Reuters interviews with 30 Latino people and advocates on the South Side of Milwaukee indicate that such attempts could be short, indicating the so-called "enthusiastly divide" that pollsters and observers have noted for Biden in the entire world.

The only interactions they had with the Biden movement were telephone messages demanding contributions in English.

Fifteen of the 24 Latino voters polled said that, albeit with little fervor, they will vote for Biden.

Some claimed he was too elderly and looked more centered on Black people and their social justice issues.

Hernández said, "It's like he isn't listening to us," noting that many people believe that Biden takes them for granted.

"We are not being noticed." We are not being noticed.

Others accused the latest pandemic of coronavirus.

Biden's staff has been stuck with cases in Wisconsin largely interactive. Proposals were discarded for a field office in Milwaukee South Side, a volunteer from Biden campaign targeted at the result of Latino voters, Darryl Morin said.

In the meantime, the team in Wisconsin has continued door-to - door and in-person lobbying, a tactic which Morin said represents Latino voters.

"I fully understand why people believe that the campaign in Biden has been missing," said Morin.

"Sometimes the degree to which we have to narrow the activities is irritating. One side alone appears to come out in person – the Trump campaign."

STATE Fears Battlefield

Nationally, Biden leads Trump among registered voters who are Hispanic: 53 percent said they would help the Democrat, while 30% said they would vote for Trump and, according to Reuters / Ipsos survey in September, they had a marginally higher turnout than they had supported in 2016.

Yet Biden has a 23-point edge fewer than Clinton's 39-point margin four years ago among Hispanic voters.

Jaime Regalado, a specialist at California State University in Los Angeles for Latino voters, said that if his campaign failed to create this base, it would be "disastrous" for Biden in heavily disputed nations, with large Latino communities.

Latinos are highly unpopular with Trump's anti-immigrant initiatives and negative language regarding refugees.

However, several surveys indicate trust in him regarding the economy.

He made the bogus argument of Biden and the Democrats being the 'socialists' in Florida, a must-win state for Trump, with conservative Cuban-American people, and organized a 'Latinos for Trump' roundtable last month at Phoenix in the war grounds of Arizonia.

The camp at Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico's first Latin Democratic governor, reports that its simulated activities centered on Latin cultures featured high-profile leaders.

Last month an exhibition was organized in Wisconsin in the form of a simulated Bus Tour of Progressive representatives of the Congress.

The running mate of Biden, U.S.

Senator Kamala Harris consulted with Voces de la Frontera, the broader migrant right party in Wisconsin, and the Democratic ticket was endorsed last month.

Voces said that it has government-wide workers and volunteers to enrol up to 23,000 eligible citizens before polling day.

MICROCOSM South Africa

Milwaukee's South Side is a microcosm of the more common fights of Biden.

71, group leader Jose Vasquez said that the amount of texts, virtual gatherings, or telephone calls made during the Biden campaign didn't matter.

He said in an interview, "You might send out a thousand fliers, but you have little effect if you're only knocking on a single door or interacting face to face with only one guy."

He hopes to see more Biden on subjects of interest to Latinos, such as a visit to Puerto Rico, where major assistance is still required since the 2017 hurricane, or visit the southern frontier to Mexico to learn about immigration reform. The school principal said he would like to see Biden more.

Democrats expected this summer to stage Biden's candidate convention in Milwaukee, but were practically coerced to host the four-day pandemic affair.

TO TRUMP Flipping

A threeth of the two dozen Latino citizens polled in Milwaukee by Reuters were ardent backers of the Trump.

Mayra Gomez, a 41-year-old Liberal, is one of those.

The native of Puerto Rico said that, after an unwelcome post from a Conservative community on Facebook, she started to look at the President, who encouraged Latinos to split away from the Democratic Party.

She was drawn to Trump's message of law and order and his economic plans, Gomez said.

She assured him in November that she would vote for him and encouraged relatives and friends to do the same.

He is a businessman, Gomez said, "Mind, Trump's not a politician.

"It seems strange what he says, but he just says the facts."

The campaign at Biden said that as the elections close, it is intensifying its efforts.

The first outdoor rally was organized in Wisconsin by Todos con Biden, a nationwide coalition of Latino promoters and volunteers to select Biden on 26 Sept.

It distributed 500 campaign yard signs at a park on Milwaukee's southern side.

(Additional account by Chris Kahn in New York, edited by Ross Colvin and by Marla Dickerson, by Tim Reid in Los Ángeles, and Dan Simons in Milwaukee)