There is so much at stake in this election, especially with so much turmoil at home and abroad. The role of the United States in the world in the coming decade weighs heavy on the minds of voters and presidential aspirants. I said as much in my interview with Univision 24/7 @vix on the eve of the third Republican primary debate in Miami, Florida.
The spotlight was on two contenders, in particular, Former South Carolina Gov., Nikki Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
Voters—including Latino voters, who will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the 2024 election—were looking to hear if these candidates had the right answers on U.S. foreign policy engagements with China, Russia, Ukraine, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, and the crisis at our U.S. border, to name a few.
Haley, who served at the UN for two years during the Trump administration was well positioned for this debate not only for her experience on the issues of foreign policy but because of her growing popularity following her strong performances in the first two debates. Ron DeSantis also had an advantage. Florida is his home turf after all, and he had received a recent endorsement from Gov. Reynolds of Iowa.
Missing, once again, was front-runner Donald Trump who instead was hosting a rally in nearby Hialeah, Florida. “Why?” Univision Host Andrea Linares asked me, “Why doesn’t he just participate in the debate?” to which I replied, “Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. That is why his base loves him.” Trump holds a 39-point lead over DeSantis in a recent Florida poll.
One final point: Latinos in Florida and other battleground states are now part of the second-largest group of voting-age Americans and will have a tremendous ability to change policy and swing elections. They are speaking out about their concern about persistent inflation and the state of the economy and also have deep concerns about the need to take more aggressive action to secure the southern border.
Undoubtedly, whoever ends up winning the nomination will have to engage with the Latino community if they want to win the presidency.
Watch Judy discuss this topic on VIX/Univision below: