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Survey: Republican Party Can't Count on Florida Latino Vote

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Photo: Volunteer calls Florida voters. Courtesy: Barack Obama Campaign
Photo: Volunteer calls Florida voters. Courtesy: Barack Obama Campaign
November 9, 2012

MIAMI - While the nation waits for Florida's complete election results, there is already an indication that Latinos played a large role in the number of votes received by President Obama in the Sunshine State.

A survey released this week by impreMedia and Latino Decisions found that the economy remained the number one issue for Latino voters.

University of Miami political scientist Casey Klofstad says typically a down economy works against an incumbent president, but Latinos still found more about Obama's policies that they support.

"Despite that, Latinos in Florida think that the mixed approach the president advocates on tax increases and spending cuts is superior to Romney's approach of only cutting spending."

The survey also indicated that Latino voters support Obama's immigration policy and believe he truly cares about the Latino community.

Prior to recent years, the Republican Party considered Florida Latinos a safe bet, but that's changed with their shifting population. In this election, Latino voters supported Obama over Romney 58 to 40 percent in Florida.

Klofstad says the growing Puerto Rican population along the Interstate 4 corridor had a big impact in swinging the Florida vote.

"If the trend of their migration continues, and as long as they remain as strongly Democratic as they are, that could really be a sea change for Democratic candidates down here in south Florida."

Latinos are also credited by the survey for Democratic Senator Bill Nelson's victory.

Stephanie Carroll Carson/Scott Herron, Public News Service - FL