Commentary

GOP Bows Social Media Campaign Targeting Hispanics

The Republican National Committee is launching a new social media campaign targeting Hispanic voters with weekly messages intended to build support for Donald Trump’s presidential run in the community. The move comes amid growing concern that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has alienated Hispanic voters, who influence the outcome in important swing states like Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.

The new online video series, called “Hispanics, The Week Ahead,” will focus on conveying political messages the RNC hopes will resonate with Hispanic voters, including economic growth, national security, education and immigration. The videos, featuring Helen Aguirre Ferré, the RNC’s spokeswoman for Hispanic media, will be distributed in both English and Spanish on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The first installment in the series addresses terrorism, outlining the alleged failures of Democrats on this national security issue and presenting the GOP as a bulwark against violent radicalism at home and abroad. Future videos will feature other Hispanic GOP figures.  

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The GOP has a hard row ahead of it, as a recent poll by Fox News Latino gives Clinton a 46-point lead over Trump among Hispanic voters. Trump’s statements calling Mexicans rapists and criminals, and questioning the impartiality of a federal judge with Mexican heritage, may have contributed to this negative view.

Many of Trump’s controversial statements have been at odds with the RNC’s 2013 strategy document, which advised revamping the GOP’s stance on immigration and the role of government to curry favor with Hispanic voters, as well as urging, “The RNC must invest financial resources in Hispanic media.”

In a radio interview earlier this week Senator Lindsey Graham fretted over Trump’s impact on the party and especially Hispanic voters, asserting that he is “driving [Hispanic voters] away” and “has poured gasoline on all of the demographic issues we had in 2012.”

Also this week, the Clinton campaign announced a new Hispanic outreach initiative that will focus on the alleged threat of deportation for undocumented immigrants during a Trump presidency.

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