Tags: Trump Administration | GOP | Changes | Tactics | Latino | Florida

GOP Changes Tactics to Win Latinos in Florida

Image: GOP Changes Tactics to Win Latinos in Florida

Georgina Arcienegas holds a sign in support of Latino voters on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Doral, Fla. . (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016 12:02 PM

As the Hispanic population of Florida rises and becomes more diverse, Republicans are changing their recruitment methods to keep up.

State Rep. Bob Cortes was Longwood, Florida's first Puerto Rican mayor, and the first Puerto Rican from his district in the state House, but now the Republican faces an uphill battle for reelection, The Washington Post reports.

According to Cortes, he campaigns as "an elected official who happens to be Hispanic, not a Hispanic elected official," meaning he focuses on "understanding the diversity of the people who live in the district."

"No Party Affiliation," or NPA, voters make up 26 percent of the Florida electorate now, and are the fastest-growing voting demographic in the Sunshine State. Both Republicans and Democrats are losing support, according to Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor. She told the Post that both major parties are "fighting for their lives."

"Republicans are a little bit more at risk because of what Trump has already done," she continued. "That's why his changing commentary to talking about borders instead of deportation is probably too little, too late."

Trump's rhetoric on immigrants bothers many Americans of Hispanic descent, including many among the almost 1.1 million Puerto Ricans in Florida.

"He's a liar. He's a flat-out liar. I don't think that man is capable of running this country. He's a time bomb," Lisa Diaz, a 51-year-old Puerto Rican who moved to Kissimmee, Florida from New York in 2006, told the Post.

The LIBRE Initiative, a nonprofit conservative organization backed by David and Charles Koch that focuses on outreach to the Hispanic community, has been avoiding the subject of Trump when talking to voters.

LIBRE volunteers go door-to-door, but instead of asking voters if they're supporting Trump in the election, they ask questions like: "should Puerto Rico's political leaders be held responsible for the island's debt crisis?" and "should taxpayers be forced to pay for the mistakes of Obamacare?"

Florida may elect its first Puerto Rican congressman this year, NBC News reports, after Darren Soto won the Democratic primary for his district in central Florida.

Their previous representative, Alan Grayson, on Tuesday lost a bid for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary, which was won by U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

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As the Hispanic population of Florida rises and becomes more diverse, Republicans are changing their recruitment methods to keep up.
GOP, Changes, Tactics, Latino, Florida
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2016-02-31
Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016 12:02 PM
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