Clinton, Sanders campaigns put Hispanic outreach into high gear in Colorado

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

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DENVER -- In Colorado, the Hispanic and Latino populations account for more than 20 percent of the voting electorate.

The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns are ramping up efforts to attract as many voters as possible with caucuses taking place in Colorado on March 1.

At Saturday's Sanders rally at the Colorado Convention Center, State Director Dulce Saenz spoke and Wednesday said what else its outreach team has planned.

"Latino organizers and volunteers are also holding bilingual phone banks to persuade Latinos to caucus for Bernie on March 1 as well as recruiting identified Latino Bernie Sanders supporters to volunteer their time to do bilingual phone banking and canvassing," Saenz said.

So far the constituency team has made more than 300 Latino-to-Latino calls and will host a huge phone bank party Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at 7235 E. Colfax Ave.

For Clinton, in addition to traditional organizing efforts, the campaign is flying in several surrogates. Actress America Ferrera will campaign along with Chelsea Clinton in Colorado beginning Thursday, and on Wednesday, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine campaigned in the state.

Kaine is a fluent Spanish speaker and was a former missionary in Honduras.

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"It is a very important constituency," Kaine said. "Hillary needs to speak directly to them and the great thing is she has a great track record."

Kaine said he has been "surprised" by the Sanders campaign but in regards to Clinton, he said, "People feel like they know her, they know her 'corazón,' they know her heart."

When asked regarding speculation he could be on Clinton's short list for vice president, Kaine said he "went through this in 2008" and that he remains squarely focused on electing the first woman to be president.

"Electing women to higher office is not one of the things we do well," Kaine said, speaking to the low number of elected women in Washington.

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