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Latino Daily News

Tuesday April 19, 2011

Fla. Puerto Rican Population Growth Means State’s Hispanics Are No Longer Primarily Republicans

Fla. Puerto Rican Population Growth Means State’s Hispanics Are No Longer Primarily Republicans

Photo: Florida Hispanics not so "red" anymore

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Republicans have long counted on the Hispanic voters of South Florida – primarily of Cuban decent – to vote red in elections, but as the number of Puerto Ricans moving to Central Florida increases, Republicans are losing that hold, as many of them are Democrats.

Florida is a swing state, and strategists like Ana Navarro, say, “the Hispanic vote has diversified.” The GOP strategist adds that national candidates looking to woo the state’s Hispanic voters, “it means coming down to Miami and having a Cuban coffee is still a must, but now there’s got to be more to it than that.”

The Sunshine State’s additional Democratic voters means that the state is now more balanced than it was before, and it shows with milestones like that of 2008, when more Hispanics registered as Democrats than as Republicans.

“You used to be able to say Florida Hispanics are Republicans,” said former state GOP executive director and current Sarasota-based Republican consultant, Jamie Miller. “Now that’s not necessarily the case. The Puerto Rican community is much different from the Cuban community from an electoral standpoint. They vote Democrat rather than Republican, for the most part.”