Pence rallies 'Latinos for Trump' in Miami

Vice president campaigns in Miami ahead of first Democratic primary debates

By Associated Press, Glenna Milberg - Reporter, Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - Vice President Mike Pence is launching a "Latinos for Trump" coalition in Miami, an effort by President Donald Trump's campaign to engage Latino voters in advance of the 2020 election.

The event comes a day ahead of the first Democratic presidential primary debates, also being held in Miami, and a week after Trump officially kicked off his campaign in Orlando.

This signals Florida's significance for the president's re-election hopes.

The state is home to more than 2 million registered Latino voters, and the Trump campaign believes they have an opening with them because of the president's economic policies, which they say have contributed to low unemployment rates among Latinos, among other issues.

Republicans see an opportunity particularly in South Florida, where the sizable Cuban population tends to lean conservative.

Organizers of the debate, meanwhile, did a final walk through Tuesday of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where the Democratic presidential candidates will spar face-to-face for the first time Wednesday.

Those already in town, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke, worked the circuit ahead of the debate.

Warren will host a town hall Tuesday night at Florida International University and O'Rourke met with educators and their unions earlier in the day at North Miami Middle School.

"In this state you ranked 45th in teacher pay last year," O'Rourke said. "You now rank 46th in teacher pay in this country." 

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