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The ads all use the same slogan to contrast him with President Trump– “los cuentos no pagan las cuentas,” a play on words that roughly means “telling stories won’t pay the bills.”
But — according to the Associated Press — the version of the ad that aired in Miami featured a narrator with a Cuban accent, while in Orlando, the ad had a narrator with a Puerto Rican accent and, in Phoenix, the accent was Mexican.
Biden is hoping to capture once solidly-Republican states like Florida and Arizona by spurring a higher Latino voter turnout than that of 2016. In Florida, Latinos make up around 20 percent of registered voters.
Latino turnout in 2016 fell to 47.6 percent of eligible voters, down nearly 3 percentage points from 2008, according to U.S. Census surveys.
But a recent CNN analysis found that Hillary Clinton performed better with Latino voters at this point in the presidential race than Biden. In a final pre election poll, Clinton led over Trump with Hispanic voters 61 percent to 23 percent. Biden, in an average of eight pre-election polls, holds a lead over Trump by a slimmer margin– 58 percent to 33 percent.
Biden also lagged behind rival Bernie Sanders in Latino support during the primaries, with the Vermont senator taking victories in Hispanic-heavy states like California and Nevada.
The Trump campaign has been using its sizable campaign cash for Latino outreach for over a year. After Biden rolled out his Latino outreach program “Todos Con Biden” in October, the Trump campaign trolled it by buying the URL and taking the Twitter handle of the same name.
A visit to www.todosconbiden.com revealed a message in both English and Spanish: “Oops, Joe forgot about Latinos. Joe is all talk.”
Democrats are using new advancements in “micro-targeting” to customize outreach to individual ethnic groups within the Latino community.
“We now have the capacity to do sub-ethnicity modeling,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, said on a recent conference call with Biden advisers.
“If you meet someone named Pérez, or Alex or Rodríguez in Florida — and you want them to vote for Joe Biden — one of the most important things you ought to learn about them is, are they Rodríguez, Alex or Pérez de Venezuela, de la Republica Dominicana, de Cuba, de Puerto Rico?” he said. “De” means “from” in Spanish.
It means “really understanding that we’re not a monolith,” said Julie Chávez Rodríguez, the granddaughter of civil rights leader Cesar Chávez and a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign. “It’s not about taking an English campaign ad and translating it into Spanish and considering that Latino outreach.”
The Republican Party has also sought to tailor different messages to voters with roots throughout Latin America — especially when it comes to older Cuban Americans, who tend to be more conservative and fervently anti-communist.
Similar views can be found among some Venezuelans in the U.S. who ardently oppose that country’s contested president, Nicolás Maduro. This might be part of the reason Trump quickly backtracked after saying he might meet with Maduro in late June.
“I would only meet with Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!” he later said.
Bertica Cabrera Morris, a Latinos For Trump advisory board member, slammed the Democrats’ “micro-targeting” effort and said it could come off as patronizing.
“What they’re doing is micro-targeting instead of realizing we’re just like the rest of the population,” Cabrera Morris said. “How dare you suggest my problems are different from yours?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.