Can a Puerto Rican be president
Suddenly coveted: How Biden and Trump advertise Latinos
You can donate $ 35 to make history. Or 500. Or 2800. It doesn't matter, the campaign for the re-election of Donald Trump can use every cent - and his Latin American supporters don't want to lag behind.
The movement "Latinos for Trump" is raising the mood for their president, after all he has brought them a flourishing economy, safe cities and religious freedom. And supposedly for generations.
A small red button on the top right of their homepage, just above the article that makes fun of Joe Biden, takes you directly to the incumbent's donation form. After all, only four more years mean the "transition to true greatness".
"It's the economy, stupid"
Latinos who support the man who calls Mexicans a rapist, who tore apart Latin American immigrant families on arrival and who is celebrating the construction of a border wall with Mexico as his biggest project?
The truth is: The famous phrase "It's the economy, stupid", coined by Bill Clinton's election strategist almost 30 years ago, still applies to the 32 million Latinos eligible to vote in the USA this time, who will make up the largest group of voters for the first time in 2020. Jobs and the economy are the most important issues for Latinos, not immigration.
"The Latin American small business owners give Trump a lot of credit for cutting taxes. The Latinos who vote Republicans don't love Donald Trump. But they feel they are US citizens and Republicans first, and then they feel like a member of their ethnicity," says Geraldo Cadava.
He should know, nobody else understands what makes Latino voters tick in the US. The professor of history and Latin American studies at Northwestern University in Chicago wrote the book "The Hispanic Republican" - about the Latinos who faithfully vote for Republicans in the USA.
"There is no such thing as a Latino voter"
For Cadava it is clear: "There is no Latino voter. The Puerto Ricans in New York vote differently from the Mexicans on the border and the Cubans in Miami. Since 1970 the Democrats have got an average of 70 percent of the Latino votes, but the Cubans in exile in Florida vote for Trump because, for example, he is taking a tough line against the Venezuelan President Maduro. "
As early as 2016, the Latino votes decided on Donald Trump's victory. Although Hillary Clinton secured the states of Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico with the help of the Latinos, Texas and especially the Swing State Florida with a total of 67 electors fell to the Republican candidate.
Also this year, the two states with the most Latin American immigrants - behind California - will possibly tip the scales. Four years ago, 28 percent of Latinos voted for Donald Trump. The incumbent can count on similar support in these elections.
The Democrats, however, celebrated a coup with the nomination of Kamala Harris as vice-presidential candidate: The polls for the Democrats then soared, especially among the Latinos.
"Not just any minority"
Joe Biden seems to have understood this: He sought contact with Spanish-speaking media and recently started a campaign especially for Latinos. For Geraldo Cadava, whose grandparents come from Mexico and Panama, this is an important signal, nothing more. The Latino electorate is still systematically neglected.
According to Cadava, neither Republicans nor Democrats have understood to this day how important the voices of Latinos are. "They come right before the elections, and then they go away for three years. You have to invest money, time and energy. And you have to change the way you think about Latinos who are US citizens, not some minority group that you stand by can push. "
The proportion of the votes cast by Latinos is growing steadily. Every 30 seconds in the US, a Latina or a Latino turns 18 and can choose. But the Republicans fear that the new voters are more likely to lean towards the Democrats anyway and therefore do not care about them. The Democrats, on the other hand, neglect the Latinos because they believe that a large number of them do not vote at all.
"Trump's Latino supporters do not believe that he is racist" - historian Geraldo Cavada
In fact, the Hispanic voter turnout is low compared to other populations. In 2016, just 47.6 percent of eligible Latinos voted, while 59.6 percent of African Americans and 65.3 percent of whites voted.
Tired of choosing? No problem!
This is exactly where Donald Trump will come in: "It is obvious that the Trump campaign is doing everything it can to suppress the voting. With all Americans who do not support him, and thus of course with the Latinos too," says Geraldo Cadava.
Trump wanted to get as close as possible to the negative record of 44 percent turnout among Latinos in the 2004 presidential election. Back then, Bush was re-elected for a second term. At the same time, Trump will do everything possible to ensure that the Latinos who sympathize with the Democrats do not vote.
Biden's "running mate" Kamala Harris is popular with Latinos in her native California
When Ronald Reagan ran for the presidency as the Republican candidate in 1980, he explained his strategy as follows: "The Latinos are already Republicans, they just don't know it." In the last few weeks leading up to the November 3rd elections, Donald Trump will presumably count on all Latin American voters to understand this.
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