Sen. Marco Rubio is predicting a strong turnout for Mitt Romney among Florida's Hispanic voters, saying the Republican nominee will draw more support than Sen. John McCain did in 2008.
That could be enough to put Florida in Romney's pocket, Rubio suggested during an interview Thursday with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.
"We are going to do very well, better than anywhere else in the country," the Florida Republican said. "I think we will do much better than 2008."
McCain lost the Hispanic vote in Florida to President Barack Obama by 15 points. But Rubio said Romney has "a chance to win it" this time around.
"I am not promising that," he said. "But I think we have a chance because I don't think any community in Florida has been hurt more than the Hispanic community, in terms of unemployment and the loss of the ability to create new jobs and businesses."
Florida's Hispanic community accounts for about 14 percent of the overall vote in the state during presidential election years. Rubio said Obama would draw at least 48 percent of the overall vote "no matter what."
"But we think we can get beyond that and more than that," Rubio said. "I think we will do very, very well. I am confident about Florida.
Still, the senator said he wasn't quite ready to lock the state away for Romney.
"I can't guarantee it because we have to do it," he said.
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