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Trump appears to be making inroads with Latinos as Biden campaign struggles with Hispanic turnout

In the battle for the country's largest minority voting block, Trump is touting his new "American Dream" plan for Latinos and taking over the YouTube home page in an 11th-hour Hispanic ad buy.

Published: November 1, 2020 4:24pm

Updated: November 2, 2020 11:56am

President Trump appears to be making inroads with Latinos, even as reports suggest the Biden campaign is struggling to turn out Latino voters.

In the battle for the country's largest minority voting block, Trump is touting his new "American Dream" plan for Latinos and taking over the YouTube homepage in an 11th-hour Hispanic ad buy.

The Trump campaign and the Republican Party said the White House's "American Dream Plan for Hispanic Americans" is meant to shore up the reasons that draw many Latino immigrants to America — freedom, safety, and economic opportunity.

Trump's plan, released on Wednesday, includes a goal of adding 500,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, increasing capital for minority entrepreneurs through Opportunity Zones, creating 2 million new jobs for Hispanic Americans, increasing access to home ownership, bolstering school choice programs, and locking in a permanent resolution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

When asked why the Trump plan wasn't released sooner, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party told Just the News that the plan's ambition was actually modest compared to the results Latinos have already experienced during Trump's tenure, including record-low unemployment and record-high median household income.

"I think he's been actually modest in the numbers that he's putting out with this plan," Yali Nuñez, director of Hispanic Media for the Republican Party, told the "Just the News AM," television program. "I think we can supersede those numbers under a Trump administration. We're doing everything that we can. We're putting all the weapons out there, we're doing our best effort, and we're going to continue to work all the way to the end to reelect this president."

On Sunday, Trump retweeted a video from senior campaign adviser Steve Cortes about a new ABC poll showing 47% support for the president among Latinos in Florida.

"Now, I think we're going to do even better than that," Cortes said. "But that number likely puts the state out of reach for Joe Biden. It seems like playing 'Despacito' on his cell phone to Hispanics wasn't exactly the right outreach."

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The New York Times' Nate Cohn reported on Thursday: "The gap in presidential vote preference between white and nonwhite voters has shrunk by a surprising 16 percentage points since 2016, according to an Upshot analysis of pre-election polls, as Joe Biden gains among white voters and President Trump makes inroads among Black and Hispanic voters."

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported that senior leaders of Biden's campaign "are increasingly worried about insufficient Black and Latino voter turnout in key states like Florida and Pennsylvania with only four days until the election."

The Biden campaign did not respond to request for comment for this article.

"Despite record early-vote turnout around the country, there are warning signs for Biden," Bloomberg's Tyler Pager reported. "In Arizona, two-thirds of Latino registered voters have not yet cast a ballot. In Florida, half of Latino and Black registered voters have not yet voted but more than half of White voters have cast ballots, according to data from Catalist, a Democratic data firm. In Pennsylvania, nearly 75% of registered Black voters have not yet voted, the data shows."

The results so far are "particularly stark," Pager wrote, "in Florida where Republicans currently have a 9.4% turnout advantage in Miami-Dade County, a place where analysts say Biden will need a significant margin of victory to carry the state."

On Thursday, Bloomberg also reported that on a call with reporters the Biden campaign touted its efforts to turn out Latino voters — including spending tens of millions of dollars to reach voters — and reviewed get-out-the-vote events in battleground states targeted at Latino voters.

"We know our pathway to victory includes winning key battleground states that have significant populations" of Latino voters, deputy campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, reportedly said on the call, according to Bloomberg. "We cannot win without the Latino vote in these states, which is why we have invested historic amounts of money and research."

The Trump campaign has prominently featured Latino American voices who fear that America could take a more socialist turn — in the direction of a Cuba or Venezuela. "Equipo Trump" (Team Trump) announced in Spanish on Sunday that it was buying a takeover of the YouTube masthead to feature its "Por Trump" (For Trump) ad with the Spanish-language song by the Miami-based salsa band Los 3 de La Habana (The 3 from Havana).

The song was sung by Los 3 de La Habana during a Facebook live session, and it quickly went viral on social media. The Trump campaign contacted the band, and within days, it was the musical track to a national television and radio advertising campaign.

"Por Trump" will be displayed on YouTube's homepage over the next 48 hours, starting Sunday night, part of the campaign's closing message to Trump's Hispanic coalition.

"YouTube is one of the most visited websites in the world, reaching over 75 million Americans every day," the campaign said in a press statement released Sunday evening. "Its daily reach exceeds that of CNN and MSNBC combined. The ad is is a celebration of America's diverse Hispanic communities and encourages Latinos to go out and vote for President Trump."

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