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The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's decision to endorse a presidential candidate is an unusual move. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

At the RNC, Hispanic Chamber endorses Clinton

Kimberly Adams Jul 20, 2016
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's decision to endorse a presidential candidate is an unusual move. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has broken from its own tradition and endorsed a presidential candidate. In a major snub to the GOP, the group’s president announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. 

Chamber President and CEO Javier Palomarez told Reuters the Trump campaign “has gone from frankly something that was entertaining, comical, and has devolved into something that is frankly scary.”

The Chamber says it represents “4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the United States that together contribute in excess of $661 billion to the American economy each year.”

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, the economy is a major issue for Hispanic voters this election cycle, with 86 percent saying it was “very important” to their vote. That’s a higher percentage than any of the other issues the survey listed, including immigration. A recent Wall Street Journal/ NBC News Poll found 82 percent of Hispanic registered voters view Trump unfavorably.

The Trump campaign has struggled to connect with Latino voters, with many of his statements viewed as divisive at best—or, at worst, outright racist.

In a video statement provided to NBC News, Palomarez said the group was bucking its 38 years of election neutrality because these are “extraordinary times,” pointing to Clinton’s “campaign of inclusiveness, of togetherness, and collaboration.”

The Trump campaign is also having trouble with a traditional backer of GOP candidates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  which has openly criticized the Republican nominee for his stance on trade issues.

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