Do Florida Hispanic voters care much about immigration?
January 26, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Sun-Sentinel columnist Guillermo Martinez explains:
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.
This reminds me of when Newt Gingrich told House Republicans to vote for statehood for Puerto Rico to win over the Mexican vote. White people in Washington don`t really know much about Latinos, so they get worked up over wacky stuff.