While it is clear that the Latino vote will be important in the 2012 elections, of immediate importance is the Republican battle raging for the Florida Caucus Tuesday January 31, 2012: an election for registered Republicans in the state that will be important for the GOP nomination to run for President of the United States in 2012. This is a state where 13.1% of the state’s more than 11.2 million registered voters are Latinos, which will certainly have an effect on the outcome. A recent Pew Hispanic Center article notes that Latino registered voters make up 11.1% of all Republican registered voters in Florida, with 12.4% being registered as Democrats.
As recently as 2006, more Florida Hispanics were registered as Republicans. However, by 2008 the majority shifted to the Democratic party, with the current voter group being the most ever in favor of Democrats. Here is the breakdown of Florida’s voters in comparison to the entire U.S. Electorate from 2010 put together by Pew Research Center.
Other than Mitt Romney having relatives in Mexico, in general none of the candidates have actively embraced the Hispanic community. While it has been noted in some reports that the Latino community is not necessarily in favor of some of Obama’s policies, the challenge for both parties will be to earn the vote from this important segment of the population.
There is a lot at stake for everyone, so in order to assist both parties the Pew Hispanic Center will continue to offer good insight into the Latino voter, such as this Table listing the Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Florida, by Race and Ethnicity, 2010