WASHINGTON — Joe Biden officially announced his latest bid for the White House, joining a very crowded Democratic field.
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After making it official in a social media video, the 76-year old immediately began targeting the Latino vote with a Spanish-language ad, something none of the other candidates have done from the start.
The Biden campaign released a Spanish-language ad, targeting this key demographic that exceeds 16 percent in the Sunshine State.
“I think whoever the Democratic nominee is going to be is going to have to focus on that to maximize turnout in order to try and win the state,” said Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor for Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
The former Vice President, already a household name and a front-runner in recent polls, faces an uphill battle as he attempts to convince the same diverse and youthful coalition that elected former President Barack Obama that he’s the right guy for the job.
Those challenges are on display in the Sunshine State, where Biden has secured former Obama state director Steve Schale as a senior advisor, but not the support of his top fundraiser, who is backing California Sen. Kamala Harris.
“Biden has never been a dynamite fundraiser. I think it’s also reasonable to question whether he can get the online small dollar donation that have fueled a lot of recent Democratic candidacies,” Kondik explained.
Statewide Democrats were narrowly defeated in the 2018 midterms in Florida, but Kondik believes Biden is a candidate who could appeal to undecided voters.
“I think for Democrats looking at the 2020 electoral map, they could feasibly look at a state like Florida and say, ‘Hey if we can win Florida, we could be in decent shape to win this election,’” he said.
Florida’s primary is not until March 17, two weeks after Super Tuesday, but some candidates are already visiting the state — including Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris.
“I think it’s important for these candidates to not just focus on the traditional lead-off states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and also realize in a nomination battle that is not decided in the first couple of weeks, that these other contests matter, and Florida could be very impactful,” Kondik explained.