Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on July 12 that his popularity with Hispanic voters is "going up, up, up" (video below).
Trump made his assertion during an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson on "The 700 Club."
Robertson praised Trump: "You really love Mexicans, Hispanics. Talk to us about that because you’re portrayed as a guy who hates Mexicans, but you don’t hate them."
Trump blamed the "dishonest" press and added:
I have great relationships with Hispanics, with Mexicans. I have thousands of people working and have worked for me. Thousands and thousands. I don't know if you've seen, but the last poll that came out I was at 33 percent, which is six points above Romney, who frankly should have won four years ago, something happened to him. But I was six points ahead with the Hispanics, of Romney. I think I'm going to do really well.
Robertson told Trump that he has a huge "emerging voting bloc" among Hispanics.
"We’re going up, up, up, you see it," Trump replied. "We’re going up, up, up because they realize I don’t want people coming in illegally and those people that are coming in illegally are going to take the jobs of the people that are already here and that are here legally and went through a process."
The Washington Post notes that a Quinnipiac University poll had Clinton at 50 percent and Trump at 33 percent among Hispanic voters in June, which has been a popular talking point among Trump supporters.
The newspaper reports that former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was at 30 percent in June 2012 with Hispanic voters, but ended up with 27 percent of that vote, which is likely where Trump got his "six points."
According to The Post, Trump supporters are touting the poll to play down the negativity that Trump has caused with his disparaging remarks about Mexicans - from attacking a U.S. judge with Mexican heritage to describing Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers - which were not mentioned by Robertson or Trump.
In addition to winning more votes, the notion is that this talking point may also help quell a revolt among many powerful GOP insiders who oppose Trump.