Soccer Politics: Biden scores first with Copa América ad buy as he vies with Trump for Hispanic vote

While both campaigns have planned a litany of traditional outreach efforts to those communities, their battle for votes has spilled over onto the soccer field as Biden floods the airwaves during the tournament, which began Thursday

Published: June 21, 2024 11:03pm

Updated: June 22, 2024 5:26am

President Joe Biden’s ad campaign throughout the Copa América soccer tournament marks a major effort to woo back Hispanic voters, who have increasingly shifted rightward in recent years.

While both campaigns have planned a litany of traditional outreach efforts to those communities, their battle for votes has spilled over onto the soccer field as Biden floods the airwaves during the tournament, which began Thursday. A cash flush Trump, on the other hand, has not yet announced any counterprogramming during the event.

The group stage will run from Thursday evening through July 2nd and feature teams from across the Americas, with the majority hailing from the Spanish-speaking countries of origin for much of the Hispanic population. Thursday’s opening match featured Argentina and Canada and took place in Atlanta, Ga. The final match is slated for July 14 and will be held in Miami, Fla. The tournament is expected to reach an overall audience of roughly 100 million U.S. viewers and will present a prime opportunity for the Biden campaign to reach voters.

To capitalize on the event, the Biden campaign has begun selling merchandise with soccer themes, such as a Biden jersey featuring the number 46 in homage to his place in the list of U.S. presidents. The campaign is also hosting watch parties for the tournament’s individual games, according to The Hill.

The Biden team has further created a soccer-themed ad entitled “Gooaalll!” that will feature prominently during commercial breaks. The 30-second ad criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, before praising Biden for reopening the country and creating jobs. With spending reaching seven figures, ad will run on English and Spanish platforms and across visual and audible mediums, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Our campaign knows the power of showing up to earn the Latino vote, and today’s historic announcement to organize and mobilize around Copa América is a perfect example of doing that important work,” Biden Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told NBC News

“Throughout the next few weeks, we will harness the energy of Copa to mobilize and reach the Latino voters who will decide this election in their communities, on the airwaves, and at Copa matches — all with a simple message: President Biden has had our back for his whole career and is fighting for our community every single day, while Donald Trump has spent every chance he gets fighting for himself, while attacking and failing our community,” she went on.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has raised considerable funds in the wake of his criminal conviction with which to finance its own ad buys, but has thus far been mum. Industry experts, however, expect the campaign to begin ad buys starting July 8.

Earlier this month, it launched the Latino Americans for Trump coalition, which was formerly branded as “Latinos for Trump.” The coalition has touted Trump’s support from Hispanic lawmakers and his economic initiatives that it says will benefit that community.

“In 2020, we got more votes from Hispanic Americans than any Republican in more than 50 years, and we won the Texas border counties that no Republican candidate had won in more than a century!” Trump said at the time. “In 2024, we’re going to win an even larger share of the Hispanic American vote, setting all-time records for Republicans up and down the ballot.”

Trump earned roughly 29% of the Latino vote during the 2016 election and improved modestly in 2020, earning 32% of that voter bloc. Polling data, however, has suggested that he could potentially win Hispanics outright in 2024.

A recent CBS News survey conducted June 5-7, for instance, showed Biden with 50% support from Latino voters and Trump with 49%, while 1% were unsure. But though some data such as that suggests Trump could gain ground, other surveys and analysts have suggested that Hispanics are more likely to opt for third-party candidates as discontent with Biden grows.

“What we’re finding is as more of a disillusionment because the economy is not changing fast enough for them to basically make ends meet, which is a real, which is a real challenge,” Voto Latino CEO María Teresa Kumar told The Hill earlier this month.

“The second thing that was really surprising was that it was a defection not of Latino men going third party, but of Latinas going third party, who espouse socio economic social justice issues,” she also said, referencing her organization’s own surveys.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X.

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