US elections: Biden campaign officials concerned over low Black, Latino turnout

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a Biden for President Black economic summit in Charlotte, NC, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP)

(Bloomberg) – Senior officials on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign are increasingly worried about insufficient Black and Latino voter turnout in key states like Florida and Pennsylvania with only four days until the election, according to people familiar with the matter.

In Arizona, two-thirds of Latino registered voters have not yet cast a ballot. In Florida, half of Latino and Black registered voters have not yet voted but more than half of White voters have cast ballots, according to data from Catalist, a Democratic data firm.

In Pennsylvania, nearly 75 percent of registered Black voters have not yet voted, the data shows.

The firm’s analysis of early vote numbers also show a surge of non-college educated White voters, who largely back President Donald Trump, compared to voters of color, who overwhelmingly support Biden.

The situation is particularly stark in Florida where Republicans currently have a 9.4 percent turnout advantage in Miami-Dade County, a place where analysts say Biden will need a significant margin of victory to carry the state.

“I would like to see turnout increase – and yes, we need improvement,” Steve Schale, the president of Unite the Country, a pro-Biden super PAC, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday about Miami-Dade County early vote numbers.

Top campaign leaders have expressed confidence that Black and Latino voters will show up on Election Day – and historical trends suggest these groups often do prefer to vote in person.

But some Biden advisers have expressed concerns about a lack of investment and are urging the campaign, so far unsuccessfully, to spend even more money to target these voters in the final stretch, especially given the campaign’s record-shattering fundraising.

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