Trump campaign's Facebook ads call for deporting 'illegals,' but not in Spanish ads
U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has run more than 3,000 Facebook ads in English asking for support to curb illegal immigration in the past six months, often asking people to sign online petitions to “deport illegals.”
But Republican Trump’s more than 1,200 Facebook ads in Spanish during the same period hardly mention his signature campaign promise to be tough on immigration.
Instead, they warn that Democrats want Venezuela-style socialism and advertise “Latinos for Trump” merchandise, according to a Reuters review of more than 69,000 of Trump’s Facebook ads since May. Venezuela is mired in an economic crisis and the Trump administration is using sanctions to try to force socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.
“Do you approve of socialism? Yes or no?” reads the Spanish-language text of several ads. Others tout a strong U.S. economy or bash prominent leftist Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
The contrast suggests a high-stakes balancing act for Trump ahead of the November 2020 election as he tries to fire up his white Republican base, which applauds his tough stance on immigration, while also courting Latino voters, who could be the largest minority voting bloc next year.
Trump, despite his divisive rhetoric calling Mexicans “murderers” and “rapists,” won nearly a third of the Latino vote in the 2016 election. And 29% of Latinos approve of Trump’s performance in office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between July and September, though that is lower than 39% approval among all Americans.
Building on that support will be key to win increasingly diverse states, including Arizona and Florida.
But Hispanics are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to support Trump’s immigration policies, such as his now-abandoned practice of separating families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Among Latinos who consider immigration the most pressing political issue - above healthcare and the economy - about four in 10 support conservative policies such as tightening border security, compared to eight in 10 among non-Hispanic whites, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Given the split nature of the issue, leaving immigration out of Spanish-language ads could be wise for Trump, said Mike Madrid, a Republican political strategist in Sacramento, California.
Read the full story on NBC News' website.