The growth of Hispanic voters in Florida was double the rate of the entire electorate between the midterm elections of 2014 and 2018, with 1.3 million Latinos voting in the state last year compared to 748,000 four years earlier, the Miami Herald reported Monday.
This data, compiled by Univision and Political Data Inc., illustrates the increased importance Hispanics will have in 2020 in determining the swing state so vital to victory in the Electoral College.
The voter turnout rate among Hispanics rose significantly from 38.1 percent of such eligible voters in 2014 to 53.7 percent last year, with Latinos as the fastest-growing portion of the state's electorate heading into the 2020 election.
"This data demonstrates that our community, especially its younger members, played a crucial role in the 2018 election where the Senate seat and various congressional seats in Florida changed parties less than a year ago," Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky said, adding "we have no doubt Hispanic America will play a key role" in 2020.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., focused heavily on Hispanics in his successful campaign last year, spending millions to run Spanish-language ads and emphasizing his visits to Puerto Rico.
Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi said Republicans did a better job of engaging the Latino community in the midterms, though he asserted it will be more difficult for President Donald Trump to duplicate that success in 2020.
But Amandi cautioned Democrats that Republicans did "an extraordinary job of actually engaging them and campaigning and making the case to that electorate. If the Republicans show up, and the Democrats don't, the Hispanic voter is likely going to go with the candidate that's there versus the candidate that's not there."
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