Largest Latino civil rights organization to endorse Biden for reelection

The political arm of the largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States will officially endorse President Biden for re-election on Tuesday from the battleground state of Arizona, CBS News has learned. 

UnidosUS Action Fund will formally endorse the Biden-Harris ticket at an event in Phoenix that will also include the group announcing support for Congressman Ruben Gallego, the Democratic candidate in one of the most heated Senate races in the country. Gallego is in a close race with Republican Kari Lake, an ally of former President Donald Trump who has repeatedly echoed his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

“The choice for Latino voters is really clear,” UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía told CBS News in an interview ahead of the endorsement.

“With Biden, we can move forward and continue to advance on a path to progress and to a brighter future,” Murguía said. “With Trump, we move backward to really extreme policies and to an economy that crushed Latino families when he was in office.”

Murguía said the decision to endorse Mr. Biden included policies that she says will benefit the Latino community, such as expanding the Affordable Care Act to include DACA beneficiaries. Another factor was the threat of Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, she said.

“He’s talking about mass deportations,” Murguía said. “Not just at the border, but across communities. This would hurt families and destabilize communities and have a harmful effect on our national economy.”

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Janet Murguia, president of UnidosUS Action Fund, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

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UnidosUS Action Fund will focus on mobilizing the over 2 million Latinos living in the battleground state. In 2020, Mr. Biden won Arizona by less than 11,000 votes, a narrow margin in which Hispanic voters played a critical role. One in four Arizona voters in 2024 will be Latino.

According to new polling released Monday from the New York Times, Siena College and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Biden trails Trump in Arizona and four other battleground states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia. 

While the civil rights organization is aiming to achieve high Latino voter turnout for November, Murguía said there are obstacles that stand in the way, including misinformation and lack of outreach.

“One of the biggest barriers to voter turnout has been a lack of investment in mobilizing in Latino voters,” Murguía told CBS News. 

We saw last election that very few Latino voters were actually contacted by either party or by the candidates to go out and either register to vote or vote on Election Day.” 

With the endorsement, UnidosUS is also calling on the Biden-Harris campaign to amplify its on-the-ground outreach efforts, arguing it takes more than just traditional advertisements to reach Latino voters. 

“It means good old-fashioned door knocking and phone calling, in-person engagement, showing up in our community,” said Murguía.

With six months until Election Day, UnidosUS will also be focusing on mobilizing Latino voters through get-out-the-vote efforts like door knocking, making phone calls, voter education initiatives, promoting its endorsed candidates and even providing voters with transportation to the polls on election day. 

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