Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Florida Latinos: “Time To Get Out The Vote”


Florida is one of the most important swing states in presidential elections and it is also one of the most diverse states. It is home to the most diverse population of Latinos and they have grown even larger in size and diversity since the last presidential election. Another group which has since seen an increase in the state is the seniors. With both groups seeing great increases in the state they both have elevated their status in the political dynamics of the state as well.

Traditionally the elderly are more conservative and generally favor less intrusive government. Latinos on the other hand, tend to be more liberal and support many government programs. Latinos account for more than half of the 1.46 million population growth in Florida between 2010 and 2015. People 65 years old and older accounted for 46 percent, Census data shows. In that time, the state’s Latino population grew nearly 20 percent overall.

“Florida is the biggest swing state in the country, therefore it is the biggest swing state with a Hispanic population,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “It is no surprise there has been a substantial increase in the Hispanic population in the state. The question is, how many people are registered to vote, and how many of them actually show up?”

As is the case among Latinos across the country, the rate of those in Florida who show up to vote is lower than for other ethnic groups. One reason is that it remains one of the youngest populations, and young people tend to have low voter participation rates. Miami-Dade County has the highest percentage of Latinos in the state with 66.7 percent of Florida’s Latino population, but had Florida’s lowest voter turnout rate in the 2014 elections.

“There is an exceptionally large delta between the percent of population who is Hispanic and the percent of the electorate that is Hispanic,” Steve Schale, a Democratic political consultant, told the Herald.

The Latino population in Florida has changed in nature, from Republican-leaning, especially when older Cuban exiles held more sway, to more Democratic-leaning today. In 2008, for the first time more of the state’s Latino voters identified as Democrats than Republicans. This means that it is now more of a challenge for a Republican to win the state’s Latino vote. National polls of likely Latino voters show that the overwhelming majority, roughly 80 percent, have an unfavorable view of the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Fox News Latino