In a deep dive into why Donald Trump is so focused on Florida as he begins his re-election campaign, Politico reports that polls show the president is behind in the must-win state and that his campaign manager believes he can salvage the state with multiple Hispanic outreach initiatives.
Noting that the president is kicking off his bid to hang onto the Oval Office in Orlando on Tuesday night, the report states that those close to Trump claim he has an obsession with the state.
According to 2016 Florida campaign manager Susie Wiles, “For all practical purposes, Florida is the president’s home. It has outsize importance to him personally,” before adding, “I would call Florida a must-win.”
Having said that, Politico pointedly notes that “Republicans and Democrats in the state know that a GOP candidate is almost guaranteed to lose a presidential race without Florida. The last Republican to win the White House without Florida was Calvin Coolidge in 1924 — long before Florida became the third-most populous state in the nation and the country’s biggest battleground state with 29 Electoral College votes.”
Recalling that three statewide elections were forced into recounts in the 2018 midterm due to the closeness of the vote, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale is leaving nothing to chance and is hoping to rope in more Latino voters.
“A leaked internal Trump campaign poll taken in March showed the president was losing Florida to former Vice President Joe Biden by 7 percentage points,” Politico reports, adding that the “campaign plans to use Florida as a proving ground for a new Latino outreach initiative.”
“Florida is a unique state for a lot of reasons and the varied Latino population is one of them. It is the perfect place to soon be launching our Latino coalition,” explained Parscale. “The Latino community is not monolithic in Florida, just like in the rest of the country, and we will have people from these diverse communities speaking to their friends and neighbors on the President’s behalf.”
The campaign also claimed that the Central Florida GOP, Broward County GOP and the Miami Young Republicans have begun targetting Hispanic voters.
All of this comes as the President tweeted, “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people,” the night before his Orlando rally.
Dogging Trump has been his dismissal of the devastation of Puerto Rico when Florida “has the nation’s largest Puerto Rican population, which makes up about a third of the state’s Hispanic voters, who in turn account for about 16 percent of the total registered voters,” Politico notes before adding, “Poll after poll shows Trump’s numbers with this segment of the electorate are poor.”
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