Ileana Garcia, the founder of “Latinas for Trump” and a member of his campaign staff, told NBC News that she believes the Latino community will "take him over the top” and deliver the presidency to Donald Trump, despite the fact that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate has made a point of antagonizing the community.
A recent NBC News/WSJ/Telemundo poll found that a staggering 76 percent of registered Latino voters said they support Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and 82 percent said they held an unfavorable view of Trump.
A strong majority felt "pessimistic and worried" that the bombastic former reality show star could serve as president of the United States.
Those figures are driven by Trump's own rhetoric about the Latino community. He infamously launched his campaign by alleging the Mexican immigrants were bringing drugs and crime and that they were rapists.
Facing a wave of criticism and accusations that he was a racist, Trump doubled down on his comments.
“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc,” Trump told Fox News in a July 5, 2015 interview, shortly after his controversial speech.
Garcia thinks his comments were “completely misinterpreted.”
She further claimed that Latinos and Latinas who back Trump were part of the “silent majority” and that the outrage in response to Trump's racist comments were akin to what you would see in a “third world country.”
Garcia, who was hired by the Trump campaign to liaise with Latino media, has her work cut out for her. Trump also has an adverse relationship with Latino media after he silenced and subsequently kicked out Jorge Ramos, a journalist with Univision, out of press conference in August, 2015.
She seemed to believe that, despite the abysmal polling figures among the Latino community, their support would “take him over the top.”
“I'd like to remind everyone that he won 66 out of 67 counties in Florida, which is primarily Hispanic so it all depends on what you call Hispanic,” Garcia told NBC News.
Trump did indeed win the Florida Republican primary but less than a quarter of Florida residents are of Latin American descent.
Trump only lost in Miami-Dade county, where 70 percent of the population of the city of Miami is Latino.
The Republican party is also overwhelmingly white. Nation wide the party is 89 percent white and in the state of Florida, “Hispanics” make up approximately 11 percent of registered Republicans.
CNN reported in June that even leading figures in the Republican Party are concerned that having Trump as their candidate will alienate Latino voters.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both criticized Trump's assertion that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a case involving Trump, is biased against him because of his Mexican ancestry.
Republicans are also concerned that having Trump as their candidate will spoil their ability to win support from Latinos and Latinas for decades to come.