The Corner

Elections

The Trump Campaign’s Under-the-Radar Pitch to Colombian-Americans

One other note to add to today’s Morning Jolt focusing on the Latino vote and some shifts towards Trump in some pockets of his demographic. The Trump campaign has made a serious push to win more support among Colombian Americans, particularly in Florida, and there are some indicators that the effort is bearing fruit:

Colombian Americans number over 1 million nationally, according to Pew Research, and about 400,000 live in Florida. An estimated 200,000 are eligible voters, making them one of the largest Latino voting groups in the state behind Cubans and Puerto Ricans, according to Florida International University professor Eduardo Gamarra.

Although most Colombian Americans are Democrats, support for Trump among Florida Colombians has grown by about 5 to 8 percent, according to Gamarra, who does polling through Adsmovil.

“This is an election determined by margins,” said Gamarra about the Florida vote. “Are there going to be more Colombians on Nov. 3 voting Republican? Yes. Should that worry the Democrats? Yes,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump tweeted, “Joe Biden is a PUPPET of CASTRO-CHAVISTAS like Crazy Bernie, AOC and Castro-lover Karen Bass. Biden is supported by socialist Gustavo Petro, a major LOSER and former M-19 guerrilla leader. Biden is weak on socialism and will betray Colombia. I stand with you!” In addition to being a former guerrilla, Petro is the former mayor of Bogota and a left-wing Colombian presidential candidate who founded the socialist movement, “Progresistas.” A web ad from the Trump campaign uses a narrator with a Colombian accent, spotlighting Petro’s support for Biden and that Biden is the candidate of “Castro-Chavismo” and closing with Trump’s declaration that “America will never be a socialist country.”

The Cuban community centered around Miami gets the most attention, but among Hispanic Floridians, the top countries of origin in order are: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The exit polls in 2016 indicated that Trump received 35 percent of the Latino vote in Florida, on his way to winning the state by about one percentage point. If Trump surpasses that 35 percent threshold this year, it will be in part because his campaign tailored specific messages to build support in these distinct communities.