Trailing nationally and in many swing state polls, the Trump campaign is redoubling efforts to build more minority and woman voters into its electoral coalition.
According to CBS News, the campaign kicked off a series of swing state bus tours last month, capitalizing on the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden had yet to hit the general election campaign trail in earnest.
On Thursday, one of those buses stopped off at the Latinos for Trump field office in Phoenix, where Women for Trump campaign surrogates and local candidates touted a Republican presence never before seen among women and minority communities.
“I love the fact that our president and his campaign have made great efforts to look at how important our diverse communities are,” Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee told an audience of local volunteers and staffers.
— Trump Women’s Tour (@TrumpWomensTour) September 4, 2020
Yee, who serves as co-chair of the Asian Americans for Trump advisory board, praised the campaign’s grassroots investment in minority communities on a personal level, saying it filled her with “sentimental passion” to see such offices springing up in the region.
“We never had this in any presidential election, where they built and invested in operations on the ground, grassroots, to be able to support our diverse community because we know how important you are. You are able to share that American story, that great American dream story, about your families, how you have continued to build success,” she said.
Republican state representative candidate Tatiana Peña spoke with similar amazement about the campaign’s ground game in her local community.
“We never had a presence of Republicans in this community like we see today,” Peña told The Western Journal in an interview prior to the campaign event. “This has never happened as far as I am concerned.”
The daughter of two Hispanic immigrants, Peña was born and raised in Phoenix, where she now works as an educator and mother of three — with a fourth on the way.
Despite frequent allegations of racism and sexism leveled against President Donald Trump by the American left, Peña suggested her community has seen record growth in recent years, prompting Hispanic friends and acquaintances to challenge Democratic expectation of the minority vote.
“There’s a lot [of] Latinos — we’re being more vocal this time around than in 2016,” Peña said.
“I know a lot of people, they were told a lot of lies in 2016. I even heard the lie that I was going to be deported, my family was gonna be deported. Well, it hasn’t happened. So, now I know that that wasn’t true.”
“And I mean, people are seeing that sort of thing going on and they’re waking up to the reality because they’re also seeing how far extreme the left has become,” Peña said.
“We’re also seeing the economic opportunities that this president has brought to the Hispanic community, to the black community. I mean, I’m seeing over here in our state that we are getting [back] the jobs that we had lost under previous administrations. So this is something that we should be proud of, not be afraid to speak out on either.”
Alleged manipulative and dismissive behavior toward minority communities on the part of the American left was a prominent theme in remarks from the campaign surrogates Thursday afternoon.
Senior Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp, a Hispanic politico herself, attacked the Democratic Party for emphasizing demographics over the individual and national interest in the public policy forum.
“The Democrats think that they are going to take this Latino vote” in November, Schlapp said. “They have taken those voters for granted time, and time, and time again.”
“This is not about identity politics,” she said.
“It failed them in 2016, it’s going to fail the Democrats in 2020. Why? Because we are seeing the light. We are seeing the light. We are seeing the fact that President Trump has said, ‘No more of this old-style, ridiculous politics that can’t get anything done. I want results for all Americans. I want opportunities for all Americans.'”
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and 1st Vice Chair Pam Kirby also joined in the day’s events, supporting Schlapp with arguments that the Trump administration has made inroads with women simply by elevating issues that resonate with American mothers and working women.
“[Trump] cares about all people,” Ward said. “He’s not making it about race or about gender or about where you came from or about what’s being taken away from you.”
“There are some misled Republicans who are saying that Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party,” Ward said.
“Donald J. Trump is saving the Republican Party, he is growing the Republican Party and he is expanding it further than anyone had ever dreamed could be possible.”
According to the RealClearPolitics polling aggregates, Trump trails Biden by 7 percentage points nationwide and roughly 3 points in the key battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Despite those polling margins, however, the RealClearPolitics aggregate results for early September indicate gains for the president’s re-election bid, with the gap quickly closing across numerous battleground states in recent weeks.
Expanded efforts to energize a more diversified Republican electoral coalition may not seem to have translated into gains with female voters yet in the wider polling averages, but results from a recent Hill-HarrisX poll indicate Trump’s approval rating has risen among black and Hispanic voters in recent weeks, despite widespread racial unrest nationwide.
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