Photo: MItt Romney Wins Florida
Yesterday, Mitt Romney won a decisive primary victory in Florida over Newt Gingrich thanks in part to garnering an overwhelming majority of the Latino vote.
Romney obtained more than a 25-point lead of registered Florida Latino Republicans over Gingrich. This win came in spite of Gingrich having a more ‘immigrant’ friendly stance. Romney endorsement from key Cuban legislators gave him an edge with many Cuban-Americans and one of several reasons for Gingrich’s defeat.
Cuban voters didn’t appear bothered by the Gingrich imposed-label of ‘The Anti-Immigrant Candidate’ and the endorsement of Kris Kobach – author of Arizona’s SB 1070.
The issue of immigration and the DREAM Act are not as important to Cuban-Americans since it does not directly affect them.
Romney approved his stand amongst Florida Latinos by 14 percent from 2008 when he also ran for President against John McCain.
No one is ready to say that this win will translate to winning the Latino vote in the general election, should Romney become the nominee. Analysis of the Florida primary shows that Romney won the majority of the Cuban American vote specifically and little to no vote from the Mexican-American demographic in the state.
In the general election the Latino vote is composed more of Mexican-American’s than Cuban-Americans. And the issue of immigration and the DREAM Act are top issues, as well as the economy, for these Latino voters.