Since Latinos make up 13.1 percent of Florida`s 11.2 million registered voters, national pundits are talking about how their choice in next Tuesday`s primary will be an indicator for other Hispanic communities. As if Florida is a good indicator — which it is not.
Very much on time, the Pew Hispanic Center has provided a primer of the profile of Hispanic voters in Florida. And it will surprise many. For instance:
... 32 percent of Florida voters are of Cuban origin; 28 percent Puerto Rican, and nine percent Mexican.
And the Hispanic Republican primary voters are likely to be even more Cuban.
... It will be a swing state where the Hispanic vote is crucial, but not for the same reasons as it is in the Southwest or in the Northeast. Immigration is touchy, but not a decisive factor inasmuch as Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth and can vote for president when they live in the 50 states. And Cuban-Americans have a privileged status that allows those who arrive in this country to become legal residents in one year — and citizens in five.