Dem pollster says Trump's immigration rhetoric could energize Latino voters

Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg on Wednesday said that while President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE's rhetoric on immigration may galvanize Republican voters, it also energizes Latino voters.

She noted that while it got his Republican base to the poll, the president's rhetoric leading up to the 2018 midterms also drove suburban and Latino voters out who did not like his “hysteria.”

“I think, for him, he has to talk about immigration. That is sort of one of the core planks,” Greenberg, a partner at Greenberg Quinlan Rosener, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

“But what doesn’t work is when he goes sort of too far and he activates, particularly the suburban voters who really don’t like the kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric and the hysteria around the caravan," she continued.

"He went full immigration in the last week of 2018 [campaign], sending troops to the border, talking about the caravan," she said. "It certainly helped get Republican voters out, but it also helped get, particularly Latinos engaged."

She added that he needs to try and motivate his base without also driving more Democratic voters to the polls.

"He has to figure out a way to do it in a way that doesn't also mobilize Democrats. I'm not sure he's capable of doing that," she said. 

Trump has continued to drive home a message of securing the border in the month since the midterms. The Democrats picked up 40 seats in the House to take back the majority in the lower chamber for the first time in 8 years. 

The president on Tuesday continued his call for funding for a border wall, threatening a government shutdown if Congress does not include the funding for the wall in a government spending bill. 

In a highly contentious meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Trump said he would be "proud to shut down the government" if he didn't get the funding.

— Julia Manchester