Republican officials arrive in Houston, aiming to reinforce president's support among Hispanics

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Top Republican Party campaign officials were in Houston Thursday to try to reinforce President Donald Trump's support among Hispanics. Their focus was on registering new voters and spreading the word about Trump.

"I think this is a testament that speaks to how much the president wants to win the Latino vote. He’s interested in conquering the Latino vote. We’re going to be the new majority this next election cycle, so it’s extremely important that we have events like this in place," Yali Nunez said about the visit.

Nunez is the Republican National Committee's director of Hispanic affairs.

Even though Trump is regarded as anti-immigrant in some places because of his policies, he still has some Latino support.

Trump carried Texas in 2016 but didn't win the majority of Latino voters. Exit polling showed he took 34% of the Texas Hispanic vote to Hillary Clinton's 61%.

"While he has alienated pretty much all immigrants and people with close ties to immigrants, there remains a block of Latino voters who are far more focused on issues of the economy, 2nd Amendment rights and therefore prefer (Trump) for those reasons," Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said.

One of those voters is Vivian Martel.

"I think he’s made me feel safer in America. I think it was getting shaky there for a while," Martel said.

Many expect next year's election to be unpredictable.

RNC officials said they are hoping to keep voters like Martel.

"Those are the relationships we have to build, so we can reelect president Trump in 2020," RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.

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