Log in

Election 2024

Biden, Trump campaigns try to make inroads with targeted campaign events

Posted 6/19/24

PHOENIX – A cheer of “Bingo!” was quickly followed by groans of disappointment and hearty laughter as a group of older adults played Biden Bingo on Thursday morning.

The event …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor
Election 2024

Biden, Trump campaigns try to make inroads with targeted campaign events


PHOENIX – A cheer of “Bingo!” was quickly followed by groans of disappointment and hearty laughter as a group of older adults played Biden Bingo on Thursday morning.

The event was part of a new Joe Biden campaign tactic that aims to mobilize senior voters through bingo rounds, pickleball tournaments, ice cream socials and intergenerational chats.

Attendees at Biden Bingo at a Biden campaign office in Phoenix praised the event, saying that it was a more personable approach to campaigning.

“I love the concept because just sitting at my table today, I met people I had no idea were invested in helping to reelect Joe Biden,” said Dora Vasquez, executive director of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans.

Seniors for Biden-Harris is one of the latest attempts from the Biden campaign to target specific demographics. This month, Republican Donald Trump launched Latino Americans for Trump and Black Americans for Trump. This targeted campaign strategy has blown up in the past decade or so, according to Stella Rouse, a professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University.

“In the 2000s, early 2000s and later, that’s really when it ramped up in terms of campaigns, hiring statisticians and psychometricians that really do analysis on the ability to use campaigns to target certain populations and certain demographics,” Rouse said.

Historically, targeted campaigns have used data from voter records to target specific populations with political flyers and emails, door knocks and cold calls. With social media analytics, it has become easier than ever to target people of certain demographics through tracking website visits and engagement, among other tactics.

“The advent of the internet and social media has had a lot to do with being able to refine those tactics and being able to target,” Rouse said. “All of the analytics … have really worked together to provide that sort of targeting campaign.”

Now, campaigns are going beyond advertising. With Seniors for Biden-Harris, the current focus is on smaller, more intimate gatherings, such as bingo, alongside large campaign events.

Older adults who attended Biden Bingo noted that because of the setting and activity, they felt that “there’s interest in our generation,” said Gary Glatting, a retiree based in Phoenix.

Lori Martinez, Arizona chairwoman for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, agreed that targeted outreach is important to engage certain communities, such as Hispanic voters. RNHA is doing that through collaboration with Latino Americans for Trump.

“It is so important that this specific group, this demographic in our country, realize that they are a very important part of our American system, especially our political system,” she said.

Martinez said that outreach needs to be personalized, specifically emphasizing the importance of family in Hispanic communities.

“Us Hispanic people, such as myself, the older Hispanics and the younger Hispanics, are reaching out to their sphere of influence,” she said. “It works because … we are a family.”

Rouse, who is the director of ASU’s Hispanic Research Center, warned that focusing too much on smaller events can isolate potential voters.

“If you do everything sort of at the aggregate mega level, that’s not gonna work,” she said. “But you can’t dedicate all your resources to doing personal events and campaigns because then that’s not going to reach the number of people that you need to reach.”

In a 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center, a quarter of respondents said they didn’t feel the Democratic Party worked hard to earn their vote.

“It was really a big thing that Donald Trump made gains among Latinos in certain areas,” Rouse said. “Some of the criticism was because there wasn’t countercampaigning by the Biden team and by Democrats in those areas.”

In Rouse’s research about the Latino vote, Latino voters said “there just wasn’t enough” focus on winning their vote by the Biden campaign in 2020.

As of Monday, Trump has consistently led in Arizona by about four points, according to FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation website. Nationally, however, the margin is much tighter. Appealing to a large swath of voters will be key in the 2024 presidential election, Rouse explained.

“It’s going to matter, mobilizing all groups, in order to win the election given the razor-thin margins. You can’t really neglect any group,” she said.