Bi­den gets sup­port from His­panic Cau­cus

Antelope Valley Press - - News - By BILL BAR­ROW As­so­ci­ated Press

Joe Bi­den’s pres­i­den­tial bid got a boost Mon­day from one of the lead­ing Lati­nos in Congress, with the chair­man of the His­panic Cau­cus’ po­lit­i­cal arm en­dors­ing the for­mer vice pres­i­dent as Democrats’ best hope to de­feat Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

“Peo­ple re­al­ize it’s a mat­ter of life and death for cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties,” Rep. Tony Cár­de­nas, D-Calif., told The As­so­ci­ated Press in an in­ter­view, ex­plain­ing the ne­ces­sity of halt­ing Trump’s pop­ulist na­tion­al­ism, hard-line im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies and xeno­pho­bic rhetoric that the Cal­i­for­nia con­gress­man called cruel.

Cár­de­nas’ is the chair­man of Bold PAC, the po­lit­i­cal arm of the Con­gres­sional His­panic Cau­cus.

His an­nounce­ment fol­lows pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie San­ders’ week­end of mass ral­lies with Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, a fresh­man con­gress­woman from New York who has be­come a face of the pro­gres­sive move­ment and a key sup­porter for the Ver­mont sen­a­tor’s sec­ond White House bid.

The du­el­ing sur­ro­gates high­light a fierce bat­tle for the His­panic vote be­tween San­ders and Bi­den, whose cam­paigns each see the two can­di­dates as the lead­ing con­tenders. Bi­den leads the field among Demo­cratic vot­ers who are non-white, a group that in­cludes Demo­cratic vot­ers who are His­panic, with San­ders not far be­hind, ac­cord­ing to na­tional polling. An­other top na­tional con­tender, Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, draws less sup­port from non-white vot­ers. There are few re­cent na­tional polls with a suf­fi­cient sam­ple of His­panic Demo­cratic vot­ers to an­a­lyze them in­de­pen­dently.

The dy­nam­ics also demon­strate the starkly dif­fer­ent ap­proaches that Bi­den and San­ders

take to the larger cam­paign. Bi­den is cap­i­tal­iz­ing on his 36-year Se­nate ca­reer and two terms as Barack Obama’s vice pres­i­dent to cor­ral Demo­cratic power play­ers across the party’s var­i­ous de­mo­graphic slices. Cár­de­nas joins four other His­panic cau­cus mem­bers who’ve al­ready backed Bi­den, a show of es­tab­lish­ment sup­port in con­trast to some Latino ac­tivists who’ve bat­tered Bi­den over the Obama administra­tion’s de­por­ta­tion record. San­ders, true to his long Capi­tol Hill ten­ure as an out­sider and demo­cratic so­cial­ist, es­chews the es­tab­lish­ment with prom­ises of a po­lit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion, just as he did when he fin­ished as run­ner-up for Democrats’ 2016 nom­i­na­tion.

To­gether, it’s an ar­gu­ment on pol­i­tics and pol­icy at the crux of Democrats’ 2020 nom­i­nat­ing fight.

San­ders and his sup­port­ers like Oca­sio-Cortez ar­gue that ex­ist­ing po­lit­i­cal struc­tures can­not help work­ing-class Amer­i­cans, im­mi­grants or any­one else. That ar­gu­ment, they in­sist, can draw enough new, ir­reg­u­lar vot­ers to de­feat Trump in Novem­ber.

“We need to be hon­est here,” re­torted Texas Rep. Vi­cente Gon­za­lez, a Bi­den sup­porter whose con­gres­sional district in­cludes part of the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. “If Joe Bi­den loses the primary, Democrats will lose in 2020.”

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