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Biden Campaign Targets Swing-State Minority Voters
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Biden Campaign Targets Swing-State Minority Voters

Plus: Nikki Haley loyalists could cause trouble for Trump in November.

Happy Wednesday! For any 40-year-old readers, we hope you are in as good a shape as Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, who spent his 40th birthday carrying weights in a physical gauntlet with a YouTube fitness influencer.

Up to Speed

  • President Joe Biden will appear in a sit-down interview tonight with CNN anchor Erin Burnett, airing at 7 p.m. ET, reports Puck’s Dylan Byers. The appearance will be one of the first television news interviews for the Democratic president since speaking with CBS News’s 60 Minutes last October, although Biden was interviewed on the Spanish-language news network Univision last month. After skipping the customary  pre-Super Bowl interview earlier this year, Biden has slowly begun to grant more on-camera interviews, usually with friendly hosts. In February he appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, then sat down with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart after the State of the Union address in March. Biden also did an interview with radio personality Howard Stern last week.
  • Judge Juan Merchan on Monday again warned former President Donald Trump that further violations of a gag order in his hush money trial could result in jail time, but said he was reluctant to levy that penalty. “The last thing I want to do is put you in jail. You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well,” Merchan told Trump. “There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for me. To take that step would be disruptive to these proceedings.” The judge found that Trump committed one violation of the order, resulting in a $1,000 fine, bringing the total amount of money Merchan has fined Trump on gag violations to $10,000.
  • Merchan denied a request from Trump’s legal team Tuesday to declare a mistrial after porn star Stormy Daniels testified in court, giving rather explicit details of the 2006 sexual rendezvous she said she had with the former president. The legal team argued Daniels’ testimony biased the jury against Trump, but the judge ruled the adult film actress’s behavior did not necessitate the declaration of a mistrial. Merchan agreed that Daniels said more than she should have but contended that Trump’s team should have objected more.
  • Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, visited Atlanta Tuesday where he participated in a roundtable “as part of his work engaging young men for the fight for reproductive rights,” officials with President Joe Biden’s campaign told reporters. Members of the group Men 4 Choice, which works to mobilize males to advocate for the legality of abortion, joined Emhoff at the event.
  • Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he would not vote for Trump in the upcoming November presidential election. “Character is too important to me, and it’s a job that requires the kind of character that he just doesn’t have,” Ryan said of Trump in an interview with Yahoo! Finance Tuesday. “Having said that, I really disagree with Biden on policy. I wrote in a Republican the last time. I’m gonna write in a Republican this time.” Ryan added that he did not yet know whom he would write in.

Biden Campaign Courts Minority Voters by Highlighting Health Care

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed and other aides, walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House as he departs for a campaign trip to Wisconsin and Illinois on May 8, 2024. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed and other aides, walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House as he departs for a campaign trip to Wisconsin and Illinois on May 8, 2024. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

In a series of upcoming campaign stops and new advertising buys, President Joe Biden will attempt to shore up support from minority groups in battleground states with a focus on health care, campaign officials told reporters Tuesday.

Biden will travel to multiple swing states this month with campaign stops intended to pitch black, Hispanic, and Asian voters. Today, the president is visiting Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wisconsin. On May 19, he will both speak to the Detroit chapter of the NAACP and give the commencement address at Morehouse College, the historically black school in Atlanta.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Detroit Monday to promote the administration’s economic agenda in front of a “primarily Black crowd,” according to the Detroit Free Press. Harris will visit Philadelphia Wednesday, while first lady Jill Biden is also getting in on the battleground travel with a trip to Arizona this week to hold an “Educators for Biden Harris” event. In addition, the campaign has held local organizing events in the states Biden is targeting to mobilize the Democratic base.

“Many of these events have and will continue to focus on health care,” Biden campaign aide Quentin Fulks said on a call with reporters Tuesday. “While Donald Trump is trying to rip away health insurance from millions of Americans, President Biden is lowering drug costs. We see that message resonating strongly across the diverse communities that make up the Democratic Party.”

In addition to the travel, the campaign has reserved a $14 million ad buy, which includes a seven-figure investment in reaching minority voters. One spot the campaign released Wednesday, titled “Terminate,” attacks Trump for his past calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Trump last month said he was “not running to terminate” the law).

“Health care should be a basic right, folks,” Biden says in a clip from a rally included in the ad. “He’s coming for your health care, and we’re not gonna let it happen.”

Part of the campaign’s messaging on health care will be to highlight abortion bans in several states, from which Trump has attempted to distance himself. Abortion was the subject of the first two ads of the campaign’s buy, premiering last week. One features a Marine and father of three daughters who attacks Trump for his pro-life actions as president. Another highlights the story of a Texas woman who fled the state to get an abortion.

Biden campaign officials on the call contrasted their significant media efforts and sizable ground operation with those of the Trump campaign, which, as they highlighted, has little of either at the moment.

“The undecided voters who are going to be crucial here require repeated and consistent outreach,” said Michael Tyler, another Biden campaign aide. “So, while we’re targeting these critical voters and telling a consistent story about Donald Trump’s attacks on things like reproductive freedom, his plans to rip away Americans’ health care, the Trump team … is hoping for the best while they spend their free time on a golf course or elsewhere.”

Biden has thus far consistently outperformed Trump in fundraising, and the Biden campaign officials said on Tuesday’s call they possess a $119 million war chest.

On the other hand, although Biden last month appeared to be cutting into Trump’s lead in polling, the former president is leading by 1.2 percentage points nationally in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Haley Voters Are Hanging Around

Donald Trump cruised to victory in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in Indiana, winning about 78 percent of the vote. But despite suspending her campaign two months ago, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley put up another relatively strong performance against Trump, earning roughly 22 percent of the nearly 590,000 votes in the GOP primary—her best showing in two months.

The GOP nominating contest effectively ended March 12, when Trump won primaries in Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington state, securing more than the 1,215 delegates he needed to become the party’s presumptive 2024 standard bearer. But Haley has continued to earn a small but significant amount of support. In Pennsylvania’s April 30 primary, closed to just registered Republicans, the former South Carolina governor received more than 16 percent of the vote. In fact, since dropping her bid the day after the March 5 Super Tuesday primaries, Haley has won at least 10 percent of the vote in 13 state primaries.

Haley diehards can’t take too much solace in her overperformance, since practically every contest since Super Tuesday has distributed delegates on a winner-take-all basis. She’s won just two delegates since then (from the Rhode Island primary on April 2) and would have no opportunity to challenge Trump for the nomination at the convention.

But the small rump of Republican primary voters resistant to Trump this late in the game may be worrisome for the former president. That’s particularly true in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia—crucial states for Trump to win back and where he will need to claw back every available Haley voter into his camp by November. The Biden campaign, meanwhile, is trying to seize on the opportunity to scoop up potentially disaffected Haley Republicans.

Since suspending her campaign, Haley has stayed fairly quiet and declined to endorse Trump. 

She has posted about politics and foreign policy periodically on her social media pages, and both Haley and her super PAC have periodically sent out emails to her fundraising list, suggesting she may see a possible future for herself in Republican politics. One email last week from Haley’s political action committee, Stand for America PAC, includes a screenshot of an Instagram post in which she criticizes universities for not being more forceful against unlawful demonstrators.

“Please take one minute to read Nikki’s post and tell us what you think,” reads the email, with a link to her fundraising page.

Notable and Quotable

“THE PROSECUTION, WHICH HAS NO CASE, HAS GONE TOO FAR. MISTRIAL!”

—Former President Donald Trump in a Truth Social post after porn star Stormy Daniels testified at his hush money trial.

Charles Hilu is a reporter for The Dispatch based in Virginia. Before joining the company in 2024, he was the Collegiate Network Fellow at the Washington Free Beacon and interned at both National Review and the Washington Examiner. When he is not writing and reporting, he is probably listening to show tunes or following the premier sports teams of the University of Michigan and city of Detroit.

Michael Warren is a senior editor at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he was an on-air reporter at CNN and a senior writer at the Weekly Standard. When Mike is not reporting, writing, editing, and podcasting, he is probably spending time with his wife and three sons.

David M. Drucker is a senior writer at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he was a senior correspondent for the Washington Examiner. When Drucker is not covering American politics for The Dispatch, he enjoys hanging out with his two boys and listening to his wife's excellent taste in music.