Trump wins over Univision as Hispanic voters lean into MAGA

"All you have to do is look at the owners of Univision. They’re unbelievable entrepreneurial people, and they like me," Trump said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has formed a tight alliance with the Spanish-language network Univision as Hispanic voters move away from the Democrat party.

The relationship between the two did not start amicably, with Trump’s campaign calling the outlet "a leftist propaganda machine and a mouthpiece of the Democrat Party" during the 2020 election.

Three years later though, Trump hosted a trio of Univision executives at Mar-a-Lago for an hour-long Univision interview, which began with a question regarding how well the former president was polling among Latino voters, according to the Washington Post.

Multiple people familiar with the event told the outlet that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helped arrange the interview and was in the room for it, and is friends with one of the executives.

"All you have to do is look at the owners of Univision. They’re unbelievable entrepreneurial people, and they like me," Trump said in response to the question about Latino voters.

Two days after the interview took place, Univision advertising representatives told the Biden campaign that advertising slots purchased to run during the interview in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida had been canceled. The cancelation was a result of a policy against advertising from an opposing candidate during interviews with a single candidate.

Univision also canceled a booking with Biden’s Hispanic Media Director Maca Casado to respond to the Trump interview in a late news broadcast, people familiar with the details told the outlet.

The Washington Post reported: "Not since 2004, when former president George W. Bush outperformed expectations among Latino voters, has the Spanish-speaking population been so up for grabs in a presidential contest, according to early polling. Democrats now fear they are losing their access to a network that has been instrumental in past elections in aggressively reporting on Trump’s immigration policies and their effect on Latino viewers."

In November 2022, Univision interrupted programming to cut to live coverage of Trump’s campaign announcement at Mar-a-Lago.

During an Oct. 19 primetime speech from Biden, Univision cut away and directed viewers to an online stream if they wished to continue watching.

"The new ownership is essentially co-opting and kidnapping the soul and mission of what Univision has been up to now, and they are serving it up on a silver platter to Donald Trump," Maria Cardona, a political consultant and member of the Democratic National Committee, said. "It is going to mask the pernicious and dangerous politics that Donald Trump is going to implement if he becomes president again."

Those familiar with the strategy behind Univision’s interview with Trump said the move was a valuable step to reset the network’s coverage to more accurately reflect the politics of Hispanic voters in the US.

“It’s important that we show the audience that when we talk about diversity, we also mean points of view,” one person said.

A September YouGov/CBS News poll found that 47 percent of Hispanic voters said they would vote for Trump, compared to Biden’s 53 percent.

This represents a slide for Biden and a gain for Trump from the 2020 election results, where 59 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballot for Biden in the last presidential election, compared to the 38 percent received, according to Pew Research.

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