The Hill's Campaign Report: Battleground Florida comes into focus l Biden and Trump battle for military voters, Latinos l Trump campaign shifts to economy

The Hill's Campaign Report: Battleground Florida comes into focus l Biden and Trump battle for military voters, Latinos l Trump campaign shifts to economy
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The Hill’s Campaign Report:

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:



Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE sought to shore up his support among Latino voters and military personnel in Florida on Tuesday, as the Democratic nominee made his first general election trip to the pivotal swing state where polls show a close race with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE.

The former vice president will attend a roundtable event for Hispanic Heritage Month in Kissimmee, a city in Central Florida that is about 60 percent Hispanic. Biden’s campaign also unveiled a new economic prosperity plan for Puerto Rico.

Javier Cuebas, the Florida coalitions director for the Biden campaign, touted the scale of the former vice president’s recovery proposal, saying that “no president or presidential candidate has ever provided a plan as comprehensive."

“President Trump has suggested that we sell or trade Puerto Rico and turn our backs on the island’s 3 million citizens,” said Julie Rodriguez, one of Biden’s deputy campaign managers.

The former vice president will sit for an interview with Noticias Telemundo on Tuesday night.


The outreach comes as polls show Biden’s support among Latinos is lagging where Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Close the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report MORE was in 2016, raising concerns among Democrats that the softer support could cost him a victory in Florida, which is traditionally decided by only 1 point or 2.

The Trump campaign fired back, arranging a phone call with Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R), the child of Cuban immigrants, who accused Biden of being an ally to socialist dictators in countries such as Cuba and Venezuela.

“These are brutal dictators that many in our families risked their lives to flee,” Nuñez said. “Joe Biden would make life easier for these evil dictators.”

She also accused Biden of only paying attention to Latinos because it is an election year.

“They take the Latino vote for granted time and time again and people are starting to take notice,” Nuñez said. “There’s a reason Biden has come out of his basement and come to Florida to try and feign interest in the Hispanic community. He knows he’s neglected us. His campaign knows he’s neglected us. And we know it too.”

Biden also courted the military vote while he was in Florida, meeting with veterans in Tampa and offering yet another scathing rebuke of Trump’s reported comments disparaging fallen U.S. service members in the Atlantic.

“Donald Trump has no idea about the ideas that animate women and men who sign up to serve,” Biden said. “Duty, honor, country. That’s what service and patriotism is all about.”

"Nowhere are his faults more glaring and offensive to me at least, than when it comes to his denigration of our service members, veterans, wounded warriors, the fallen," Biden said. "Quite frankly, it makes me very upset the way he gets in front of a camera and crows about how much he's done for veterans, then turns around and insults our servicemembers and fallen heroes when the camera's off."

The Trump campaign took aim at Biden for the VA scandal of 2014, in which a pattern of negligence was reported at a number of VA hospitals.

“President Trump’s America First Agenda will be an agenda that is veteran’s first,” said former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, a retired naval officer, during a campaign call with reporters on Tuesday. “Joe Biden is a candidate of endless foreign wars, a crippled military, and depleted support system for our nation’s heroes.” 

The military vote could prove to be a major game changer for Biden if he wins the contingent, which has historically leaned Republican. A Military Times poll released late last month shows Biden with 41 percent support among active duty troops, while Trump trailed at 37 percent support.

Additionally, Trump’s support among the group in Florida also appears to be eroding. A Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday found Trump leading Biden among the group by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent.


Trump’s campaign is shifting their message in the battlegrounds with 49 days to go before the election, launching two new ads focused on the economy, one of the few issues on which the president leads Biden in the polls. That’s a change for the Trump campaign, which had been running a slew of ads promoting Trump as the “law and order” president.

The Trump campaign is investing at least $10 million in new cable and local broadcast ads in key battleground states and districts promoting the president’s economic policies as a resounding success for women and people of color. The ads will run in Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania, as well as in the 2nd congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska. The ads come as Biden has been swamping the airwaves with ads after outraising Trump by more than $150 million last month.

And here’s an interesting dynamic to monitor...

If Biden is elected, he’ll be the country’s first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy. But not all Catholics are on board. A Catholic voters group launched a $9.7 million campaign against him in the swing states. The group attacking Biden, CatholicVote, is a conservative faith-based advocacy group that takes issue with Biden's position on abortion, among other issues.



Trump is trailing Biden by 5 points in Florida, and his support among some key voter blocs is lagging. A new Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday showed Biden leading Trump 50-45 percent among registered voters in the Sunshine state. But in another sign of trouble for Trump, he’s running neck-and-neck with Biden for the support of seniors and voters in military households.

The poll also shows some regional challenges for Trump in the state. While the president has broad support across Republican-leaning North Florida, he’s trailing Biden by 6 points in Central Florida, a region that he narrowly won in 2016.

The Monmouth Survey found Biden with a wide lead over Trump among voters of color, at 70-22 percent. Among Latino voters in the state, Biden’s also garnered majority support, notching 58 percent to Trump’s 32 percent.

Max has more on the Monmouth poll here. Without Florida, Trump's path back to the White House becomes very, very narrow...

Elsewhere, Biden has built up a 10 point lead over Trump in Wisconsin, according to a new CNN survey. The same poll finds a closer race in North Carolina, where Biden leads 49 to 46.