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Clinton Campaign Launches 'Latinos For Hillary'

by Suzanne Gamboa /

Capitalizing on her still positive polling numbers with Latinos, Democrat Hillary Clinton is making the most of Hispanic Heritage Month to bolster her backing in the community and overall nationally.

The campaign said Thursday it is launching “Latinos for Hillary” with several events that it will roll out over the next several weeks.

Clinton, the frontrunner early in the 2016 election, has seen her positive ratings drop among all voters and the wide lead over closest rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, shrink or disappear in New Hampshire and Iowa.

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released this week shows Clinton with a negative popularity rating, 39 percent to 47 percent (-8) favorable/unfavorable among all voters.

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But among Latinos, 53 percent had a positive view of her versus 21 with a negative view, according to the NBC/WSJ poll done Sept. 20-24.

To build on that backing, Clinton is starting her 'Latinos for Hillary' campaign with an interview with Telemundo’s Maria Celeste Arraras in Miami Friday, according to campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa.

Hinojosa said she'll also speak at the Congressional Hispanic Conference Institute’s annual awards gala next Thursday, which includes a keynote from President Barack Obama.

Her first organizing event is being held Oct. 15 in San Antonio, the hometown of Housing Secretary Julián Castro, seen by many as a potential runningmate to Clinton. Castro’s twin brother, Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, already has been doing some campaigning for her, including in Iowa.

The campaign said it has a number of Latino house parties organized around the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13 and in several states, including Nevada.

Also, look for some known Latino celebrities, elected officials and community leaders to begin publicly announcing their backing for her.

Political strategist Lorena Chambers of Chambers Lopez Strategies LLC praised the initiatives saying Clinton needs to reconnect with all kinds of voters.

"Latino voters loved President Clinton, loved her as first lady and as secretary of state," Chambers said. "All of her initiatives will reintroduce her as a presidential candidate and will expand her support above and beyond name recognition."

The growth of the Latino electorate and the addition of tens of thousands more Latinos to the ranks of eligible voters every month have given Latinos a higher profile in the election campaign this year.

Latinos were a key part of the coalition of voters who helped put President Barack Obama in office twice and have played key roles in the re-election of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and in the election of Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

The incendiary comments of the GOP’s Donald Trump regarding Latinos and immigrants has raised questions whether his campaign has hurt the party's efforts to gain ground in the community.

The NBC/WSJ poll found 67 percent of Latinos have a very negative view of Trump and a plurality, four in 10, have a negative view of the party.

Trump is due to participate in a forum with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, the same day of the CHCI gala.

Clinton has launched a similar campaign among women, "Women for Hillary," in early September with promises that women would not be a side issue of her campaign but flow throughout it. Clinton has seen a drop in her support among white women, but still has strong support from women of color.

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