However, Democrats found more success playing into the traumas held by Puerto Ricans, of whom more than one million call Florida home. In Central Florida, the Biden campaign released a sequence of television, radio, and Internet ads that tugged at the heartstrings of people who had been displaced due to Hurricanes Irma and María, most notably with “President Trump Failed Puerto Ric
o,” which first aired on September 20, 2019, the two-year anniversary of when Hurricane María made landfall on the archipelago. But these ads may have also triggered feelings of anxiety and post-traumatic stress among a community still reeling from the loss of lives, jobs, homes, and possessions, as well as the Trump administration’s utter abandonment of its own citizens. (A National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities study
investigating the mental health impact of the hurricane found that PTSD is highest among climate refugees in Central Florida, where many of the ads aired.) Other 2020 ads, such as “Arroz”
and “Billones de Promesas
” slammed Trump and Republicans alike for “Hispandering,” and making empty promises to a community of valuable voters with no intention of making good on those claims. The Biden campaign also capitalized on a specifically Puerto Rican point of tension: islanders’ inability to vote in the presidential election. In one campaign advertisement, “Usa Tu Voto
,” which was broadcast in Florida and Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans on the archipelago urge diasporic boricuas living in Florida to vote with them in mind.