News and Commentary

Report: Florida Dems Allege ‘Toxic’ Work Environment, Worry Team Biden ‘Suppressing’ Hispanic Vote
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 17: A A voter arrives to her precinct during the Florida presidential primary on March 17, 2020 at Miami Beach City Hall in Miami Beach, Florida. People are heading to the polls to vote for their Republican and Democratic choice in their parties’ respective primaries during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Ninety-four Democratic field organizers tasked with helping to elect presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden in Florida have reportedly signed an internal letter to the state Democratic Party complaining about a “toxic” work environment, and an absence of a “fully functional field plan.”

According to the Miami Herald, the field organizers made eight allegations ranging from dismissiveness of staff concerns, to an absence of campaign resources, to inexplicably moving Puerto Rican organizers who speak Spanish to areas of the state with fewer Hispanics.

“The [Coordinated Campaign of Florida] is suppressing the Hispanic vote by removing Spanish-speaking organizers from Central Florida without explanation, which fails to confront a system of white-dominated politics we are supposed to be working against as organizers of a progressive party,” said the letter, reports the news agency.

“We are roughly 100 days out from the election, and there is no functional targeted field outreach and organizing of the Hispanic/Spanish-speaking, Brazilian/Portuguese-speaking, and Haitian/Creole-speaking communities in our state,” the letter reads at another point. “There are no targets, scripts, data infrastructure, community outreach, or phonebanks established for this.”

The letter reportedly also asks for an apology for the way that field staff have allegedly been treated.

The Herald, which spoke with field organizers “on the condition of anonymity over fears of retaliation,” reports one organizer as saying that some of the younger staff members believe they hold “different views of workplace norms” than the older workers.

“The way you treat your lowest ranked employees says a lot about you as an organization,” said the organizer.

According to the Miami Herald, most of the organizers who signed the letter work for the party, and not directly for the Biden campaign, and as such, do outreach for a variety of Democratic candidates seeking office at various levels of government.

Jackie Lee, state director of Biden for President, told the Herald it was working with the field organizer’s union on the issues mentioned in the letter and hadn’t relocated anyone for the last six weeks.

“The stakes of this election are critical, and we are committed to working with our organizers and Florida Democrats at every level in order to build a strong, successful Coordinated Campaign,” said Lee.

The field organizers’ complaints about the Florida campaign effort come as polls suggest that Biden currently maintains a sizable lead in the swing state, which voted for Trump by a margin of 1.2 points in 2016.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, the presumptive Democratic nominee is hitting 49.7% in Florida while Trump is registering at 42.7%. 

However, a notable outlier in the bunch is a poll from the Trafalgar Group, which released a poll the day before the 2016 election that found Trump ahead in Florida by four points, as previously noted by Politico.

The Trafalgar Group has the two candidates effectively tied in Florida, with Trump registering at 45.94% and Biden registering at 45.90%.

Also, the day before the 2016 election, the group found Trump leading by 2 points in Michigan, a state Republicans hadn’t carried in the electoral college since the 1980s.

The RealClearPolitics average in Michigan has Biden leading Trump 48.7% to 40.5%. The Trafalgar Group poll? Biden is up one point.

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