The increased polling “gives us the ability to look at Latino voters the same way we have been looking at white voters over the years, which is to micro target them, break them down into different groups — those without a college degree, those who are married — we’re now bringing that level of sophistication to the Latino community,” he said.
The added investment allows the campaign to match its digital ads and mailers for the many groups of Latino voters, discussing problems more important to them or in ways that connect with them.
It's part of a mix for votes in the key battleground state that has the campaigns splitting up Latino voters by their countries of origin and playing to their cultural differences.
A poll of 500 voters from Miami-Dade, where most of the state’s Cuban American voters live, showed Trump with a 38-point lead over Biden with Cuban American voters. All around, Hispanic voters take about half the vote in the area.
In 2016, while Clinton won the overall Latino vote with 62 percent, slightly more than half of Cuban Americans, 54 percent, voted for Trump.
“We all knew Florida would be close. We knew the Cuban voters, but also Venezuelans and others tend to lean conservative. That’s why early investment and strategy matters so much," said Vanessa Cárdenas, a Democratic strategist who left the Biden campaign during the primary season.
"At this stage, less than 50 days from the election, it’s like an all-hands-on-deck moment," she said.
Nearly a third of the voters were Cuban Americans, 24 percent were Puerto Rican, 18 percent of South American descent and 16 percent Spanish. Other Hispanic subgroups were in single digits.
“What’s really important for Democrats and Joe Biden is to tap into those Cuban Americans who are undecided and might potentially still support Joe Biden” and to reach out to Puerto Ricans, people with connections in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and other countries that were part of her polling sample.
About 3.1 million Latinos can vote in Florida. In 2018, some of the fastest growth in registered voters has been in counties with large Puerto Rican populations.
Trump's campaign would not say whether it is focusing on Hispanic voters. In an emailed statement, the campaign said "we understand that Hispanics are not single-issue, monolithic voters" and that Biden and Democrats have "moved too far left and are too out of touch with Hispanic American voters."