AOC slams Biden over ‘Democrat vulnerabilities with Latinos’ as election tightens

Congresswoman’s  comments were made in response to a news story highlighting Joe Biden’s underperformance with Latinos in Florida

Louise Boyle
New York
@LouiseB_NY
Wednesday 04 November 2020 07:10
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed Democrats for not putting in enough effort with Latino voters as results in Florida showed that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had underperformed with the minority group in the state.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez, who was re-elected to her New York seat, tweeted on Tuesday: “I won’t comment much on tonight’s results as they are evolving and ongoing, but I will say we’ve been sounding the alarm about Dem vulnerabilities w/ Latinos for a long, long time.

“There is a strategy and a path, but the necessary effort simply hasn’t been put in.”

She followed it up with another tweet: “We have work to do.”

AOC’s comments were made in response to a news story highlighting Mr Biden’s underperformance with Latinos in the sunshine state.

Two freshman Democratic congresswomen in southern Florida lost their re-election races on Tuesday.

Many Democratic observers have already begun blaming Mr Biden’s difficulties winning over Latinos for his downfall in the state — and the downfall of other Democrats down the ballot.

Congresswomen Donna Shalala of the Sunshine State’s 27th congressional district and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of the 26th congressional district will be single-term House members, several news outlets have projected.

Former TV news anchor Maria Elvira Salazar, the Republican in the 27th district, defeated Ms Shalala 51.4-48.6 per cent in a rematch from the 2018 midterms. That’s a 9 percentage-point swing from when Ms Shalala won the 2018 battle by 6 percentage points.

And Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez bested Ms Mucarsel-Powell 51.8-48.2 per cent.

Both districts are more than 70 per cent Hispanic, with large Cuban immigrant populations.

Donald Trump has won Florida largely by winning over that contingent of voters, who appear to have responded to the president’s campaign warnings that Mr Biden and the Democrats are sliding towards “communism.”

During his victory speech on Tuesday, Mr Gimenez assailed Ms Mucarsel-Powell’s voting record, calling her “one of the most partisan members of Congress.”

“I want to be bipartisan. We need to work together. This country needs to work together because we have threats from outside and inside, and for us to keep fighting, it makes no sense whatsoever,” he said.

“I’m gonna roll up my sleeves, and I’m gonna work with our colleagues in Congress to bring solutions, to bring results to the people of Miami-Dade County and also the people of this country. The first thing we have to do is restore our economy, and I think we’re on our way to doing that,” Mr Gimenez said.

By midnight, Ms Mucarsel-Powell had not yet conceded her race.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez won her New York congressional seat by a large margin, early results showed.

With more than 75 per cent of the vote counted in the 14th district, Rep Ocasio-Cortez won 69 per cent against 30 per cent for Republican challenger John Cummings.

Mr Cummings, a 60-year-old teacher and first-time Republican challenger, raised more than $10m in donations from across the country to make the 14th district the second-most expensive House of Representatives contest in the nation.

After Associated Press declared the result in her favour at 10.09pm local time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez thanked voters for backing her “despite the millions spent against us”.

“Serving NY-14 and fighting for working class families in Congress has been the greatest honor, privilege, & responsibility of my life,” she tweeted.

“Thank you to the Bronx & Queens for re-electing me to the House despite the millions spent against us, & trusting me to represent you once more.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 31, has become a rising star in the party, earning her animosity from Republicans and repeated barbed comments from the president during his campaign rallies.

She herself raised more than $17m in donations for her 2020 race, however, galvanising support for her strong stance on climate change and a relatable style of politics, which saw her play video games on Twitch with voters during the campaign.

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