NBC News’s latest article on the Trump re-election campaigns get-out-the-vote efforts exposed the media’s portrayal of Hispanic voters as a monolith: the media’s belief that all Hispanic voters vote the same way and worry mostly about immigration.
The network covered the Trump campaign’s efforts in Pennsylvania, where Hispanics make up around 8 percent of the state’s population. According to the article, the Trump campaign is seeking to win at the margins in Pennsylvania, which narrowly voted for Trump in the 2016 election by 44,000 votes.
Interestingly enough, data showed that Hispanics in Pennsylvania voted 38 percent in favor of Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections, although the Democratic Party won multiple seats in Congress.
NBC News quoted Jose Fuentes, an adviser to the Trump campaign, who pointed out to the network that not all Hispanics vote the same because they are not all one type of people.
Fuentes told NBC News that it is important to tailor “messages to people who have ancestral roots in different parts of Latin America.” He gave several examples, such as Cubans worry about Cuba-U.S. relations and Venezuela, Puerto Ricans think about post-Hurricane Maria recovery and statehood, and Mexicans worry about business and U.S.-Mexico relations.
Despite the mainstream media’s portrayal of Hispanic voters as a one-size-fits-all voting bloc, the Trump campaign adviser exposed this false stereotype. As with any voting bloc in the United States, Hispanic voters have specific concerns that they vote on when they get to the ballot box and should not be incorrectly portrayed as a monolithic, single-issue voting bloc. It appears that the Trump campaign understood this difference, while the media did not.