Hillary Clinton made a play for Puerto Rican voters Monday by promising to do whatever she could to make sure they "get the help that they need."
"[I]t's really important to me that we do what we can to help the people of Puerto Rico get the kind of support that they deserve to have," she said during a campaign stop in Kissimmee, Fla.
Puerto Rico's ongoing financial woes have forced an increasing number of its residents to move to America and settle in states on the East Coast, including New York and Florida.
The exodus from the small commonwealth, which became an unincorporated U.S. territory in 1898, has created a political "gold rush" in the United States, as campaign strategists and consultants are now increasing their efforts to snatch up the already substantial voting bloc.
Puerto Ricans are American citizens, but they cannot vote in the general election unless they relocate to the mainland. Once they establish residency in the United States, they can vote freely at the national and state level.
There are exactly 63 days left to register to vote in Florida (the state's book closing date for the general election is Oct. 11). Laws in the Sunshine State also require identification to vote, and there is no same-day registration allowed.
"Let's remember a couple of things: Puerto Ricans are American citizens, right? Puerto Rican men and women have served at a disproportionately high level in the United States military over the years," Clinton told an excited crowd Monday.
"If you live in Puerto Rico, you can't vote for your president and commander in chief, right? But, as an American citizen, if you moved to Florida or New York, you can vote for the president and commander in chief!" she added.
"So I want to do everything I can to get Puerto Rico back on a path of prosperity to help the people in Puerto Rico and to do everything I can to make sure that they are not left out and left behind," Clinton said. "Because they are part of our family, and I am going to do what I can to make sure that they get the help that they need."
Clinton's appeal makes good strategic sense: In terms of eligible Hispanic voters living in the Sunshine State, Puerto Ricans, who trend Democratic, now rival Cuban-Americans, who traditionally lean Republican.
As Florida plays a crucial role in presidential elections, carrying with it a full 29 electoral votes, the former secretary of state's appeal to the growing number of Puerto Rican voters could swing the state in her favor.
Clinton easily bested Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Puerto Rico during the Democratic presidential primaries, finishing with an impressive 61 percent of the vote to the Vermont lawmaker's 39 percent.
She walked away from that particular contest with 36 pledged delegates and 7 superdelegates. Sanders took 24 delegates.
Meanwhile, GOP nominee Donald Trump lost the Puerto Rico Republican primary badly to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Rubio walked away from that GOP race with 74 percent of the vote and all 23 of Puerto Rico's delegates. Trump earned only 14 percent of the vote in that primary contest, and he didn't take a single delegate.